Sen. Kruse has introduced SB 34 prohibiting medical services to minors related to gender identity. It contains some exceptions where “the minor has a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development, including having: (A) both ovarian and testicular tissue; or (B) external biological characteristics that are ambiguous3 resulting from having a 46,XX karyotype with virilization or 46,XY karyotype with undervirilization.” The other exception is for situations where “(2) The minor has an abnormal sex chromosome structure that has been diagnosed using genetic testing by a physician licensed under IC 25-22.5.” I don’t know what those technical terms mean. But, notably, there is no exception for situations where the minor, the minor’s parents, and the medical provider all agree that the medical services are in the best interest of the minor.
This bill would prohibit the following:
[A health care professional may not] attempt to change,14reinforce, or affirm a minor’s perception of the minor’s own sexual attraction or sexual behavior, or attempt to change, reinforce, or affirm a minor’s gender identity when the identity is inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex, by performing or causing to be performed any of the following procedures on the minor: (1) Castration. (2) Vasectomy. (3) Hysterectomy. (4) Oophorectomy. (5) Metoidioplasty. (6) Orchiectomy. (7) Penectomy. (8) Phalloplasty. (9) Urethroplasty. (10) Vaginoplasty. (11) Mastectomy. (12) Lobotomy. (13) A surgery to remove a healthy organ or body part.
The bill would also prohibit:
[A health care professional may not] attempt to change, reinforce, or affirm a minor’s perception of the minor’s own sexual attraction or sexual behavior, or attempt to change, reinforce, or affirm a minor’s gender identity when that identity is inconsistent with the minor’s biological sex, by engaging in any of the following activities: (1) Prescribing, administering, or furnishing to the minor a drug to stop or delay puberty. (2) Prescribing, administering, or furnishing to a female9minor testosterone or estrogen-suppressing drugs. (3) Prescribing, administering, or furnishing to a male minor estrogen or testosterone-suppressing drugs. (4) Subjecting a minor’s genitals to an electric current. (5) Penetrating the minor’s fingers with needles. (6) Restraining and placing ice on the minor’s hands. (7) Wrapping the minor’s hands in heat coils. (8) Subjecting the minor to an ice bath. (9) Injecting drugs into the minor to induce vomiting. (10) Restraining the minor with ties or harnesses. (11) Inflicting any physical pain or suffering.
Back in the old days, I would have joked about Sen. Kruse going to wilder parties than the ones I get invited to. But I don’t have the heart for it. Questions about gender identity and what to do about it when a person’s identity differs from their biological sex are difficult. I think they’re especially difficult because puberty can be a kind of ticking clock where the release of hormones is going to make the inconsistency more difficult for the person to navigate and also difficult because making the wrong decision — either by taking action or by not taking action — can have significant impacts for the rest of the person’s life. I do not think these questions are ones the General Assembly is well equipped to answer on behalf of these families.