Today, The Help Not Harm Act was sent to the Chief Clerk’s office for first reading in the Assembly. Rep. Allen released the following statement:
“Children who identify as transgender deserve help, not harm. The current ‘recommended’ treatment process involving puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery, may in fact be harmful and irreversible. Considering that research demonstrates that 80-95% of children will outgrow gender dysphoria if untreated, we should not encourage harmful interventions with lifelong consequences.
“In fact, long term studies have reported that people who undergo gender transition have a suicide rate about 20 times higher than their peers, suggesting that they may not have received the help they really needed. Furthermore, there are too many stories of people who later regret these interventions but are stuck living with the consequences. Why would we encourage harmful interventions with lifelong consequences for children?
“With these high stakes, public policy should not depart from historical approaches with regard to the health and well-being of minors. We already restrict minors from working long hours, smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, and making life-altering decisions in areas of marriage and financial contacts. Time and experience has taught us that young people need to be fully grown to have the mental faculties to make such substantial decisions.
“This bill does not affect options available to legal adults, and it does not prohibit social transitioning, which may be reversible. Its purpose is to protect children from decisions with irreversible effects, while they are too young to meaningfully consent.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues Rep. Wichgers, Rep. Knodl, Rep. Gundrum, Rep. Skowronski, Rep. Murphy, Rep. Penterman, Rep. Steffen, Rep. Brandtjen, Rep. Behnke, Rep. Dittrich, Rep. Schraa, Sen. Jacque, Sen Bernier, and Sen. Stroebel for co-sponsoring this legislation.”