Resolution Regarding Childhood Sex Changes and Transitional Hormone Therapy

Whereas, the LP National platform states:
1.1 Self-Ownership

Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.

1.5 Parental Rights

Parents, or other guardians, have the right to raise their children according to their own standards and beliefs, provided that the rights of children to be free from abuse and neglect are also protected.

2.13 Health Care

We favor a free market health care system. Medical facilities, medical providers, and medical products (including drugs) must be freely available in the marketplace without government restrictions or licenses. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want (if any), the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines. We oppose governments either mandating, or restricting voluntary access to, medical treatments or procedures including vaccines.

Whereas, children are not capable of consent; this is why we call them children (and not adults). 

Whereas, Libertarians fully support the right of adults to transition or undergo any medical treatment they desire to. We support all members of the LGBT+ community to live their lives as they see fit. All individuals have the same rights. 

Whereas, child abuse consists of any act of commission or omission that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child abuse includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably explained and which is often represented by an injury or series of injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature.

Whereas, according a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, and Evolutionary Biologist Heather Heying PHD Univ of Michigan, adolescents with gender dysphoria (GD) treated with gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog (GnRHa) therapy are temporarily sex-steroid deprived until the addition of cross-sex hormones (CSH) and they have a measurable decrease in their bone mass density. It also has negative effects on several physiological parameters, including blood volume, cholesterol and several other hormones. Furthermore, giving GnRH at onset of puberty affects cognitive function in an animal model (sheep), impairing spatial memory. Less concerning, but also permanent, testosterone therapy for trans male children post puberty will have already caused facial hair growth and lowered the voice. There is a lot that is not known about the long term effects of transitioning children. A lot of this is due to the fact it has only started becoming prevalent in recent years. Some though is already clear:  

Whereas, intervening at an early age with experimental and disruptive medical practices for all the children who declare themselves trans, risks harm to a large number of non-trans people for life.

If the risks have to be weighed:

  • Failing to intervene at an early age, such that a tiny number of actual trans people begin physical transition later and come to be a less good fit for their internally perceived sex; or
  • Permanently disrupt normal development for children who were merely exploring their identity.

The treatments for people who are trans—puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery—have permanent costs. For the vast majority of children and youth who are merely exploring identity and belief, doing what children do—those costs are unacceptable. We now live in a culture where public schools are teaching students in elementary schools that they may not be the correct sex. It is entirely possible for children to say they are not the correct gender now, and realize they were wrong later. It is also very possible for parents to convince or coerce their children into transitioning to the opposite sex. This could be because they are ashamed to have a gay or lesbian child, or because they think it is politically fashionable. In either case, this is child abuse.

Whereas, any children that undergo full surgical transition to the other sex will not be able to have children of their own because they will not have the parts of their original reproductive system necessary. Furthermore, medical advancements cannot construct ovaries or testicles for individuals that did not have them at birth. 

Whereas, even if the child stops short of surgical transition, they run a great risk of becoming infertile, especially biological females. One is generally able to conceive and carry children about 18 months after stopping testosterone therapy, although there is no guarantee that the reproductive system will still function correctly. Trans men on testosterone treatments often have an elevated risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which usually causes infertility. There are also increased risks of birth defects after lengthy testosterone therapy. For trans female children, stopping estrogen therapy for a period of time may allow sperm production to resume, although it may not be at a sufficient level to produce a pregnancy without assisted reproduction, if at all.

If done pre-puberty, without having gone through natal puberty, anatomical males will not produce sperm and anatomical females will not have eggs capable of maturing for fertilization.

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED, the Libertarian Party of Oregon considers both transitional hormone therapy and surgical gender re-assigment surgery on children to be child abuse. 

Sources used:

LPO Editor