During the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy called transgenderism a "mental health disorder" as multiple candidates promised to ban gender transition surgeries for minors if elected president.
Ramaswamy, a 38-year-old entrepreneur and one of seven candidates who faced off in the Fox Business presidential primary debate, addressed the hot-button issue of gender transition surgeries for minors by declaring "transgenderism, especially in kids, is a mental health disorder."
Ramaswamy's comment came in response to a question from moderator Dana Perino asking if he would work to pass a federal law to protect parental rights, specifically by requiring schools to keep parents informed if their children identify as a member of the opposite sex.
The advocacy group Parents Defending Education estimates that more than 1,000 school districts have policies that "openly state that district personnel can or should keep a student's transgender status hidden from parents."
Ramaswamy replied to Perino's question by proclaiming, "Parents have the right to know," implying that he would support a federal effort to prevent schools from hiding information about a student's gender identity from their parents. He insisted that "it is not compassionate to affirm a kid's confusion," adding, "That is not compassion, that is cruelty."
Ramaswamy elaborated on the long-term impacts of gender transition surgeries for minors by recalling his conversations with "two young women" who had undergone such procedures only to regret them later on and revert to identifying with their biological sex. He noted that both women underwent double mastectomies, and one of them had a hysterectomy, lamenting that she "will never have children."
"The fact that we allowed that to happen in this country is barbaric," he asserted.
He vowed to "ban genital mutilation or chemical castration" for minors if elected president.
More than 50% of kids with gender dysphoria have considered suicide. And yet politicians reject a law that would require schools to inform parents if their kids change their gender identity at school. Parents have a right to know about their kids: that shouldn’t be controversial.… pic.twitter.com/AzvT2Pq8Om— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) September 28, 2023
Ramaswamy doubled down on his assertion on social media.
"More than 50% of kids with gender dysphoria have considered suicide. And yet politicians reject a law that would require schools to inform parents if their kids change their gender identity at school," he wrote in a post on X. "Parents have a right to know about their kids: that shouldn't be controversial. Ban genital mutilation & puberty blockers before age 18. Treat gender dysphoria as a mental health disorder. Time to empower parents again."
Former Vice President Mike Pence echoed Ramaswamy's calls for federal action to protect parental rights and prevent minors from obtaining gender transition surgeries.
"We're going to stand up for the rights of parents and we're going to pass a federal ban on transgender chemical or surgical surgery anywhere in the country," the former Indiana governor said. "We've got to protect our kids from this radical gender ideology."
Nearly half of the U.S. states have passed laws prohibiting some or all of the controversial procedures for minors: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
Ramaswamy discussed some of the long-term impacts of gender transition surgeries on minors. One of the women he referred to in his remarks, Chloe Cole, has outlined the long-term consequences of the procedures she obtained as a minor in a lawsuit against the medical professionals who encouraged her to make life-altering changes to her body.
Cole contended that the so-called "gender-affirming care" she received left her with "deep physical and emotional wounds, severe regrets, and distrust of the medical system."
In a notice of intent to sue filed last year, Cole detailed how she experienced suicidal thoughts and a deteriorating state of mental health following her double mastectomy.
The frequent prescription of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to trans-identified youth has also become a cause for concern.
Jamie Reed, a whistleblower who formerly worked at the Transgender Center at St. Louis Children's Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, explained that a girl prescribed testosterone suffered from severe bleeding.
"Because testosterone thins the vaginal tissues, her vaginal canal had ripped open," Reed wrote in an op-ed for The Free Press.
"She had to be sedated and given surgery to repair the damage. She wasn't the only vaginal laceration case we heard about," she added.
Reed's assertions prompted Missouri's attorney general to investigate the clinic.
Earlier this month, the Transgender Center announced that it was no longer providing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in light of a newly passed state law banning such procedures.
The American College of Pediatricians has identified additional side effects of cross-sex hormones as "an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan" while warning that puberty blockers can cause "osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility."
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org