Authored by Jackson Elliott via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
A bill that would have allowed people to take children from parents to get transgender procedures in Maine was killed in committee.
Late in January, Maine’s House judiciary committee unanimously voted down the bill, with one member absent.
This unanimous vote likely indicates Democrats weren’t willing to debate the bill in the House, Maine state Rep. Katrina Smith, a Republican, told The Epoch Times.
“If it was a divided report, then there could be a chance,” Ms. Smith said. “They’ve done this a lot to us.”
“The bill was 100 percent, maybe I’ll say 99 percent, killed because of the public outcry,” Ms. Smith said. “We got an incredible amount of media attention.”
In an election year, people notice bills like this one and their likely consequences, and the politicians who supported it may face consequences in November, Ms. Smith said.
She expects Democrats will continue to introduce similar bills, “if they’re in the majority.”
“If they’re in the minority, it will have no chance and will be crushed,” she said. However, Democrats currently control Maine’s state house, state senate, and governor’s office.
Ms. Smith said the bill would have violated parental rights, increased the number of child gender transitions, and likely have resulted in a flood of lawsuits from parents whose children were taken away to Maine for child gender transition.
It is almost certain Democratic Maine legislators will brave those hazards at a later date, she said.
Many Maine Democrats see allowing child gender transition as a moral issue on par with ending segregation, Ms. Smith said.
“They certainly do believe that,” she said.
The Epoch Times contacted the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Laurie Osher, a Democrat, but received no comment by publication time.
Ms. Osher provided written testimony supporting the bill, in which she says there’s “a coordinated national attack on gender-affirming care.”
“For transgender and non-binary young people, the most important thing the adults in their lives can do is to be supportive,” Ms. Osher said, advocating for parents to support medical and surgical interventions in their children.
The bill would have allowed Maine to take transgender-identifying children from parents within the state.
It also allowed anyone to take a child from a state that banned child gender transition medical procedures into Maine. Maine wouldn’t consider this action to be child kidnapping under the bill.
Maine mother Alicia Lawson believes the state would have been able to take Ms. Lawson’s child from her under the proposed bill.
She said the pediatrician could have called up the Department of Health and Human Services and said, “’This mom is not allowing her child to have this care that she needs.”
In 2020, Ms. Lawson’s teenage daughter identified as transgender.
“She wanted to get on hormones,” Ms. Lawson told The Epoch Times. “While she wanted top surgery, she didn’t want bottom surgery.”
She talked extensively with her daughter about the transgender feelings, and in a few years, her child grew out of them, Ms. Lawson said.
These feelings were complicated because her daughter is autistic, she said.
To navigate this topic, Ms. Lawson took her daughter to a pediatrician, who said signing her daughter up for gender transition surgery now would help her get through the long wait list for the procedure.
“By the time she’s 18 to make her own choice, then she won’t have to wait on the waitlist,” the pediatrician said. Ms. Lawson said she refused this offer.
Today, her daughter no longer wonders if she is a man, Ms. Lawson said.
There are also major financial reasons for Democrats to support bills that would allow gender transition surgeries on children in Maine, according to Heather Sprague, a Maine conservative activist.
“I believe the bottom line is the money,” she said. “They profit off the money from these surgeries.”
Maine Health, a not-for-profit integrated group of hospitals and health services, supports child gender transition, according to its website.
“The Gender Clinic is dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of transgender, gender diverse, and questioning people across Northern New England,” the group’s online page on transgender services states.
“We offer treatment to patients of all ages with both pediatric and adult services.”
Some of Maine Health’s medical treatments include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone use, and surgery to make people appear like the opposite sex.
Many transgender surgeries are expensive. Transgender breast amputation or creation surgery costs between $10,000 and $20,000. Genital transgender surgery can cost up to $150,000.
Costs vary widely for facial feminization or masculinization surgery. Cross-sex hormones can cost between $30 to $100 per month.