Letter to the editor: What justification is there for transitioning minor children?


Washington legislators passed a bill, SB 5599, that will allow the state to harbor runaway children and provide them with abortions and irreversible gender treatments at taxpayer expense and without the knowledge of their parents.

A second bill, HB1469, extends that treatment to children from other states and prevents parents from taking legal action against the state.

Abortion and gender treatments are named protected health care services and will allow a child to receive life altering treatments affecting their health, fertility, and sex life, without the input of the people who love and know the child best: his or her parents.

Opposition to SB 5599 was 10 times greater than the support from those who favored the bill. But legislators ignored citizens and passed the bill through the Senate. They’re also ignoring what longtime doctors treating gender confused children have observed.

A number of progressive European countries have concluded the risks of gender treatments for children outweigh the benefits and have stopped or restricted the treatments.

Gender dysphoria in children is not new. Dr. Susan Bradley, of Canada, opened a pediatric gender clinic in Canada in 1975. Treatment then took a “watchful waiting” approach to help children with their feelings of discomfort and seeing if they would persist after puberty. What’s new is the more recent “gender affirming” approach that includes the social transition of toddlers, puberty blockers as early as age 8 and cross sex hormones at 11, and surgeries at 12 to 15 years.

Bradley recently expressed regret over using puberty blockers: “We were wrong. They’re not as reversible as we always thought, and they have longer term effects on kids’ growth and development, including making them sterile and quite a number of things affecting their bone growth.”

Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, of Finland, said that even social transitioning is not neutral. Kaltiala referenced 12 studies showing when children are left to develop naturally, the vast majority — four out of five — come to accept their sex. When they are socially transitioned, virtually none do.

U.S. doctor Marci Bowers, who performed the surgery on Jazz Jennings and is also transgender, said of surgery, “But honestly, I can’t sit here and tell you that they have better — or even as good — results. They’re not as functional. I worry about their reproductive rights later. I worry about their sexual health later and ability to find intimacy.”

Supporters point to several short-term studies that seem to cast a favorable light on transitioning children, but they’re flawed in design, rely heavily on surveys instead of controlled studies, and are largely funded by puberty blocker producing pharmaceutical companies, Arbor and Pfizer.

SB 5599 and HB 1469 are wrong on all levels. Parents have not ceded their rights to the state and evidence shows children are being harmed. If 80-plus percent of children will come to accept their sex if they are simply allowed to go through puberty, what possible justification is there for transitioning minor children at all?

Ask your legislators.

​​Julia Dawn Seaver,