Alberta To Restrict Medical Transition For Children
February 2, 2024 | Tags: ZEROHEDGEAlberta To Restrict Medical Transition For Children
Authored by Chandra Philip via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Alberta is banning gender-altering surgery for children and won’t allow puberty blockers for those under 16, Premier Danielle Smith said as part of newly announced policies.
Ms. Smith also said parental consent will be required if a child wants to change pronouns at school, and that women-only sporting divisions will be off-limits to transgender athletes.
“For minors aged 17 and under, top and bottom gender reassignment surgeries will not be permitted,” Ms. Smith said in a video posted on X on Jan. 31.
She also said that those 15 years of age and under will not be allowed to take puberty blockers or hormone therapies as part of receiving gender reassignment therapy.
The move makes Alberta the only province to place such restrictions on gender transition medical procedures for children. A number of U.S. states have already implemented a ban for children.
The premier began by saying that it’s important to “support and reach out with kindness and inclusion to those who identify as transgender,” and that “children aged 17 and under who identify as transgender” should feel loved and supported.
Ms. Smith noted that children and teenagers are constantly faced with biological, social, and emotional changes, and that parents and teachers have a duty to preserve for children the “most impactful decisions affecting their lives” for when they are adults.
“It is my view that list of adult choices includes deciding whether or not to alter one’s biological sex,” she said.
“Making permanent and irreversible decisions regarding one’s biological sex while still a youth can severely limit that child’s choices in the future. Prematurely encouraging or enabling children to alter their very biology or natural growth, no matter how well-intentioned and sincere, poses a risk to that child’s future.”
For adults, the premier said her government is working to attract one or more medical professionals specializing in transgender surgery to the province.
“We will also be building a private registry of medical professionals who specialize in this field to better support the lifelong health care needs of transgender Albertans including access to needed hormones and surgery,” she said.
Transgender Sport Policy
As well, the province is planning to regulate competitive sports with regard to transgender athletes.
“Our government also needs to deal with the emerging issue of the unfair disadvantages that young women and girls are experiencing when competing with biologically stronger transgender female athletes in sporting competitions,” Ms. Smith said in the video.
Gender identity can be a hard thing to talk about, especially when you are involved. But this conversation is extremely important and parental involvement is critical. Kids need to know we love and support them.— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) January 31, 2024
My message to all Albertans: pic.twitter.com/i0ii57GLa6
“I strongly believe that those who were born male but have transitioned to or identify as female are owed the opportunity to meaningfully participate in sport. However, there are obvious biological realities that give transgender female athletes a massive competitive advantage over women and girls.”
Ms. Smith said her government will work with sporting organizations to “ensure that women and girls have the choice to compete in a women’s only division in athletic competitions and are not forced to compete against biologically stronger transgender female athletes.”
The government will also work with sporting organizations to allow transgender athletes to compete by expanding co-ed or other gender-neutral divisions for competitions, she said.
Pronoun Usage at School
Ms. Smith also said that children 15 years of age and under will need parental consent if they express a desire to change pronouns or names at school.
Students aged 16 or 17 don’t need parental consent, but parents must be informed of their child’s decision.
“Nearly all parents, even those who may disagree with the decision of their children, will love and care for their children no matter what choices they make,” Ms. Smith said.
“However, in the handful of rare situations where one or both of the parents reject or become abusive to a child who identifies as transgender, we have child protection laws that will be strictly enforced.”
The province will be piloting a counselling program to help families facing these issues as well.
It will also tighten teaching on gender identity and sexual matters in schools to require parental notification if formal instruction on such topics is planned by a teacher.
“All third-party resource materials or presentations related to gender identity, sexual orientation, or human sexuality in our K-12 school system will need to be pre-approved by the Ministry of Education,” the premier said.
The move comes months after New Brunswick and Saskatchewan both put in place legislation requiring parental consent if children change their pronouns at schools.
During the United Conservative Party annual general meeting last November, party members voted to adopt a number of policy resolutions that asked for upholding parental rights and not having sexually explicit content in schools.