DES MOINES, Iowa – Former Vice President Mike Pence says if elected president he would block federal funding to healthcare providers who perform and promote surgical or chemical gender reassignments on children.
Pence over the weekend laid out his Putting America’s Families and Values Plan that endorses passage of a 15-week federal limit on abortions, advancing universal school choice, and “ending the war on traditional family values.”
In a press release issued before Saturday’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition town hall of GOP presidential candidates, Pence reiterated he would, as president, issue executive orders directing all federal agencies to defund any programs that accept federal money and provide surgical or chemical reassignment on children in the United States or around the world. He says he would also push for a congressional, national ban on child gender reassignments.
“The radical left’s culture war is no longer confined to blue states or big cities. They’ve brought it right here to the American heartland,” the former vice president said.
He noted the University of Iowa’s transgender clinic spending taxpayer money to “advance the left’s gender ideology.”
The university’s Health Care LGBTQ Clinic “offers comprehensive transgender care in a welcoming, inclusive environment,” according to the institution’s website. “Our staff specializes in compassionate care and support of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients at every stage of the gender-confirmation journey.”
The “pioneering clinic” is a “national leader in gender-affirming care and surgery and offers some procedures not available anywhere else in Iowa,” the site boasts.
Governor Kim Reynolds earlier this year signed a Republican-led bill prohibiting sex change surgeries and treatments for children under 18 in the Hawkeye State.
The trans activist movement and its advocates insist such medial procedures are “life-saving” for kids who believe they are a gender other than that which they were born. They also claim that banning such procedures is taking away the rights of parents who seek sex changes for their children. The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among other major medical organizations, support and promote sex changes for children suffering from gender dysphoria.
Opponents, including an increasingly active parental rights movement, see “gender-affirming care” as a euphemism for chemical castration and genital mutilation.
“Last year, the University of Iowa transgender clinic boasted that they served more than 200 children. They gave dozens of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and performed five mastectomies on little girls,” Pence said.
“This is sick, it’s wrong, and if I’m president, it will end. Institutions that are mutilating little children will lose every penny of federal funding — and we will ban the barbaric practice of transitioning children nationwide.”
In July, America First Legal (AFL) filed five public records requests with public gender clinics in Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia to obtain records related to “gender-affirming care.”
The conservative law firm notes the University of Iowa clinic “brazenly provides post-surgical care for all patients recovering from gender-affirming surgery and notoriously harmful gender-affirming voice and hormone treatments.”
Pence isn’t alone among the packed field of Republican candidates for president calling for an end to such procedures. His former boss and current far and away Republican Party front-runner, Donald Trump, has said he would stop sex changes for minors, asserting that the procedures are equivalent to child abuse.
Getting congressional passage of prohibition bills will be no small feat. Liberals in the House and Senate support the transgender-led U.S. Department of Health and Human Services definition of “gender-affirming care” consisting of “an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people.”
Pence said it’s all part of a decades-long push by liberals to lay the “groundwork for the government to raise our Nation’s children instead of parents.”
“This approach is antithetical fo the American way of life,” the conservative candidate writes in his policy proposal. “A family is the single best unit to protect children, and we must empower parents over bureaucrats.”
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Mike Pence” by Mike Pence.