Lionel Shriver Lionel Shriver

Children need protection from adult madness

[Getty Images]

The Texas Supreme Court just upheld a state law banning so-called gender-affirming care for minors, to explosive consternation from predictable quarters. Progressive commentators portray this and similar laws passed by more than a dozen Republican-controlled state legislatures as ‘anti-LGBTQIA+’. In truth, the laws are aimed not at that whole bramble of capital letters, but solely at the ‘T’.

The left claims withdrawal of puberty blockers and sex ‘reassignment’ surgery violates trans kids’ ‘rights’

Slamming these bans histrionically as ‘genocide’ (four in 15,000 patients of the Tavistock or on its waiting list committed suicide between 2010 and 2020, but according to propaganda it’s up to 50 per cent of trans kids who try to kill themselves), the American left claims withdrawal of cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and sex ‘reassignment’ surgery for children violates the ‘rights’ of trans kids. Yet progressives never seem indignant over the gross unfairness that children can’t buy alcohol, purchase cigarettes, join the army, get a tattoo, work in factories, marry or consent to sex with an adult. Why doesn’t being prevented from snagging a packet of Marlboros violate children’s rights?

Oh, no, we must protect minors from injuring their health when they’re too young to appreciate the threats of cancer and addiction. But according to the American left, which used to decry female genital mutilation, 12-year-olds are mature enough to decide to halt the progress of puberty (potentially imperilling their brain and skeletal development), commit to a costly pharmaceutical regimen replete with irksome side effects for the rest of their lives, have healthy body parts hacked off, accept a future of sexual dysfunction and forego parenthood altogether. In the frenzy of the culture wars, Republicans have passed some clumsy legislation, but these laws are spot on. Nevertheless, Canada has issued a comical travel advisory about the ‘risks’ in certain US states for citizens who belong to that ever-extending string of upper case letters.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Or

Unlock more articles

REGISTER

Comments

Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in