Tennessee lawmakers pass bill criminalizing adults who help minors get transgender procedures

Tennessee lawmakers in the state’s Senate on Thursday passed a bill on a 25-4 vote that would make it a felony for adults to aid minors in seeking gender transition procedures. It now heads to the GOP-led House, where it is expected to get additional Republican support. State Sen. Janice Bowling, a Republican, sponsored SB 2782, which would penalize any “adult who recruits, harbors, or transports an unemancipated minor” in Tennessee “for the purpose of receiving a prohibited medical procedure that is for the purpose of enabling the minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex or treating purported discomfort or distress from a discordance between the minor’s sex and asserted identity, regardless of where the medical procedure is to be procured,” and make it classified as a felony.Adults who break the law could face prison time of three to 15 years and fines of up to $10,000 under the Class C felony that the bill allots. The bill also “authorizes a person who violates this amendment to be held liable in a civil action for such violation.”MAINE CONSIDERS BILL THAT WOULD ESTABLISH ‘LEGAL RIGHT’ TO ABORTION, TRANSGENDER SURGICAL PROCEDURESThe legislation is similar to another bill that the Senate passed on Thursday, which would create penalties for adults who help minors obtain abortions without parental consent. Tennessee Democrats opposed both bills. “We’ve had two bills in two days regulate the types of conversations people can have with each other,” Democratic state Sen. Jeff Yarbro said before Thursday’s vote. “We shouldn’t be trying to violate constitutional rights, and that’s what this is trying to do.”Bowling refrained from debating about the bill on the floor, and instead read portions of the bill text when asked for clarity by a Democratic colleague, Sen. Heidi Campbell.GOP AGS WARN MAINE TO KILL ‘TOTALITARIAN’ BILL MAKING SANCTUARY STATECampbell argued that children who experience gender dysphoria “find that their parents are people that they can talk to.””While I absolutely applaud efforts to support parental rights, I also think we need to think about the different scenarios in which relationships with parents are not necessarily healthy,” she said. Currently, Idaho is the only other state in the U.S. that has a law to crack down on adults who help facilitate abortions for minors. But Tennessee could become the first that applies penalties to adults relating specifically to gender-transition procedures and treatments. Recently, Maine drew the attention of more than a dozen Republican attorneys general for a bill under consideration that would effectively establish Maine as a sanctuary state for both abortions and procedures like sex-change surgeries for minors — a move the AGs say is “totalitarian.” Providers would be shielded from so-called “hostile” lawsuits if the bill passes. Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy contributed to this report. 
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