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Tennessee's Bill Against Gender Affirming Care

Written By:

Kaitlin Nguyen

Publishing Date:

June 28, 2023

Tennessee’s House Bill 001/Senate Bill 001

On November 9, 2022, Tennessee Majority Leaders Rep. William Lamberth and Sen. Jack Johnson introduced bills HB001/SB001 which, as stated, “prohibits a healthcare provider from performing on a minor or administering to a minor a medical procedure if the performance or administration of the procedure is for the purpose of enabling a minor to identify with, or live as, a purported identity inconsistent with the minor’s sex” (Gluck, 2022; Tennessee General Assembly, 2022).

HB001/SB001, dubbed the “Protecting Children from Gender Mutilation Act” by Lamberth and Johnson, essentially proposes a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for minors, prohibiting medical providers from prescribing minors puberty blockers, hormone treatment, and surgery for gender-affirming purposes. As proposed, courts would be allowed to impose $25,000 fines for each violation, allow the Attorney General to bring an action against the health care provider up to 20 years after the date of the violation, and require the Attorney General to establish a reporting process for such violations. 

Lamberth and Johnson state that the bill is intended to protect children from complications that they are not capable of understanding. Organizations such as the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and American Counseling Association have voiced opposition against restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare. According to AMA Board Member Michael Suk, “Gender-affirming care is medically-necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people.” 

HB001/SB001 will be the first anti-LGBT bill in Tennessee to be filed for state legislative sessions in 2023. The bill follows previous proposals in 2021/2022 in the Tennessee legislature and in other states including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Texas to restrict gender-affirming care.  

HB001/SB001 if implemented, will affect many youth in Tennessee. About 5% of young adults in the U.S. identify as trans or nonbinary. Access to gender-affirming care is associated with lower odds of depression and suicidal ideation among youth. Puberty blockers, which delay puberty to provide more time for transgender or gender-questioning youth to resolve their gender identity, are valued and commonly used among the transgender community. Such treatments will be subject to strict restrictions if the bill is enacted.


ACLU Tennessee Press Release. “ACLU-TN Condemns Calls for Introduction of Anti-Trans 

Legislation and Investigation Into Transgender Health Care”, ACLU-TN. 22 September, 2022. Accessed November, 2022.

American Medical Association Press Releases. “AMA Reinforces Opposition to Restrictions on 

Transgender Medical Care”, American Medical Association. 15 June, 2021. Accessed November, 2022.

Brown, Anna. “About 5% of young adults in the U.S. say their gender is different from their sex 

assigned at birth”, Pew Research Center. 7 June, 2022. Accessed November, 2022.

Gluck, Frank. “Tennessee's GOP leadership proposes ban on gender-affirming care as first bill 

for 2023”, The Tennessean. 9 November, 2022. Accessed November, 2022.

Tennessee General Assembly. “HB001 (SB001)”, Tennessee General Assembly Bills. Accessed 

November, 2022.

Thoreson, Ryan. “US State Readies First Anti-Transgender Bill of 2023 - New Legislation in

Tennessee Signals Renewed Assault on LGBT Rights”, Human Rights Watch. 18 November, 2022. Accessed November, 2022.

Tordoff, Diana M. et al. “Mental Health Outcomes in Transgender and Nonbinary Youths 

Receiving Gender-Affirming Care”, JAMA network open 5, no. 2. 1 Feb, 2022.  doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.0978

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