Tenn. GOP lawmakers demand VUMC stop gender-affirming surgeries

Outside of Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Outside of Vanderbilt University Medical Center(Mark Humphrey)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Republican lawmakers sent a letter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials Wednesday demanding they stop performing gender-affirming surgeries.

Gov. Lee said he plans to introduce legislation limiting transgender Tennesseans’ access to health care in response to posts on social media by Matt Walsh, a columnist with the Daily Wire. Walsh had previously said online that the clinic “chemically castrates minors,” and other claims hospital administrators are false.

Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) and over 60 of his colleagues sent a letter to VUMC leaders demanding that they “take immediate action by halting all permanent gender transitioning surgeries being performed on minor children.”

“This is a time in which elected leaders must boldly lead and speak on behalf of the people,” Zachary said on Twitter. “Additionally, we request that all conscientious and religious objections be honored.”

Last week, Vanderbilt stated the allegations made by those on social media and lawmakers, claiming that the social media posts and videos that went viral on Twitter misrepresent the facts surrounding the case VUMC offers at the Transgender Health Clinic. Officials went on to say that parental consent is required before a minor is treated and seen for issues related to transgender care.

“VUMC began its Transgender Health Clinic because transgender individuals are a high-risk population for mental and physical health issues and have been consistently underserved by the U.S. health system,” Vanderbilt officials said. “We have been and will continue to be committed to providing family-centered care to all adolescents in compliance with state law and line with professional practice standards and guidance established by medical specialty societies.”