Proposed Legislation Would Make Denying Access to Puberty Blockers Child Abuse

A parents’ rights group is currently challenging a proposed bill that equates denying children access to services such as puberty blockers with child abuse.

State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, a Democrat from Naperville, introduced House Bill 4876, which would modify the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to include the denial of abortion services or “gender-affirming services” as a form of child abuse.

Awake Illinois, a group founded by Shannon Adcock, has initiated a campaign against the bill.

Adcock expressed her concerns to The Center Square, stating, “In Illinois, parents who are considered child abusers can lose custody of their children if, in this case, they do not affirm transgender drugs or surgical procedures such as penis and breast removal. This is incredibly radical.”

Rep. Stava-Murray did not respond to requests for comment on the matter.

However, in response to comments on Facebook, she argued that “trans kids go through irreversible damage from a puberty that doesn’t match their gender identity every day in this country.”

She further stated, “To ignore that damage further harms trans children and puts them at risk for the mental health issues you purport to care about. Giving access to lifesaving gender-affirming care should be the standard.”

The proposed bill does not explicitly define “gender-affirming services,” but it references the definition provided in the Reproductive Health Act.

The amended act, signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last year, does not provide a clear definition of “gender-affirming services” either.

However, it does mention that treatment for gender dysphoria or the affirmation of an individual’s gender identity or expression includes “all supplies, care, and services of a medical, behavioral health, mental health, surgical, psychiatric, therapeutic, diagnostic, preventative, rehabilitative, or supportive nature that is not unlawful under the laws of this State.”

Adcock has pointed out that the bill not only covers the denial of hormone therapy or gender surgeries but also encompasses the denial of “primary medical care” such as prescription drugs or vaccines.

She emphasized that “if a minor opts for this, and you as a parent deny that, that means that you are considered an abuser of a child.”

If the bill is passed, it would expand the requirements for mandated reporters of alleged child neglect and abuse.

Furthermore, the measure would protect doctors performing these procedures from potential lawsuits, even if the parents object.

At present, the bill remains in the House Rules committee.