WASHINGTON – Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in introducing the Protecting Our Kids from Harmful Research Act, a bill prohibiting federal funding of sex-reassignment research on minors. Medical interventions to reassign sex are experimental, irreversible, and often fail to produce the intended effects of improving patients’ mental health. This bill would prohibit federal funding from being used in research or publications that seek to establish or affirm gender identities that are incongruent with a minor’s biological sex.
“Children are not capable of giving full consent to irreversible, life-altering elective surgery,” Coach Tuberville said. “Subjecting healthy, developing children to damaging and harmful procedures without a grave medical purpose is absolutely wrong, and taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for these extreme and reckless practices.”
“The Federal Government should never fund research that harms kids,” said Senator Lee. “This bill will protect taxpayers from funding spurious research, but more importantly, it will protect kids from the permanent damage this irresponsible research can produce.”
Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), James Lankford(R-OK), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are also cosponsors.
Beginning in 2015, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded taxpayer-funded grant money to four pediatric clinics to conduct research in a study titled “The Impact of Early Medical Treatment in Transgender Youth.” The money was awarded through NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) and reports show that the study included children as young as eight years old. Congress did not direct the NICHD to conduct the study, and it appears that one of the clinics may have fraudulently used funds awarded through the grant to perform double mastectomies on girls as young as 13. This study was renewed in 2021 for up to four more years to evaluate and monitor the effects of puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones on participants.
This legislation would prohibit federal funds from supporting research or publications relating to gender transition in individuals under the age of 18, including observational studies that gather evidence on the provision of hormonal treatments or surgical procedures on minors for the purpose of affirming the child’s perception of his or her identity if it is incongruous with his or her sex.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.