L.D. 535 is a bill before the Maine Legislature, passing 7-4 out of committee with two legislators voting to pass the bill with an amendment, to allow 16- and 17-year-old teenagers to receive gender-changing hormonal therapy without parental consent.

Determined to chip away at parental rights and childhood innocence, advocates of this bill believe this medical care is “affirming” by increasing teenage self-determination, but treating time-honored waiting as a detriment.

Of course, waiting is the point given established truths known about teenagers. Waiting acknowledges decades of evidence about the juvenile mind and body being manipulated by peer pressure, and “tricked” by incomplete neural pathways and intense, but immature drives.

Interestingly, these truths have been “affirmed” for years, thus prohibiting teens from buying handguns, alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana until age 21. Substituting powerful hormones for nicotine, THC and alcohol is just as destructive.

Moreover, regardless of the professional associations that have endorsed this bill, which is actually self-serving by providing legal cover for them, there remain unforeseen consequences for these teenagers when they reach adulthood. The idea that these professionals are able to see the consequences and manage them is pure fantasy borne more out of arrogance than science.

In effect, gender-changing medical care of children attacks their innocence by removing the adult shield of protective restraint.

I wonder how many of these teenagers after reaching adulthood will lament their misspent youth chasing the gender-changing brass ring, only to discover that these same professionals and legislators failed them miserably, when they should have had their backs.

Mark Wood, Poland

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