Trump vows to ‘stop’ gender-affirming care for minors if re-elected president

Former President Donald Trump vowed in a video released Tuesday that, if re-elected, he would punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors and push schools to “promote positive education about the nuclear family” and “the roles of mothers and fathers” as part of a wide-ranging set of policies to use federal power to target transgender people.

In the straight-to-camera video posted on his Truth Social platform, Trump said he would task several federal agencies to police and ultimately “stop” gender-affirming care for minors, which he equated to “child abuse” and “child sexual mutilation.”

He said he would also prohibit any federal agency from doing work to “promote the concept of sex and gender transition at any age,” not just for minors.

The proposals are likely to be met with staunch opposition from LGBTQ rights advocates, who are fighting similar ideas across the country, calling them detrimental to trans people. 

Gender-affirming care, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, “consists of an array of services that may include medical, surgical, mental health, and non-medical services for transgender and nonbinary people.”

Trump’s proposals are among the most draconian compared to the many that have circulated in state capitols in recent years, going so far as to suggest that he would push for a federal law recognizing only two genders. 

Trump said he would push Congress to pass a law banning gender-affirming care for minors nationwide; order the Department of Justice to investigate the pharmaceutical industry and hospitals to see if they “deliberately covered up horrific long-term side effects of sex transitions in order to get rich;” and cut off doctors from Medicare and Medicaid — a potential career-ender for many doctors — if they treat trans youth with hormones or surgery.

In addition, he said he would make it easier for patients who later regret receiving gender-affirming care as a minor to sue their doctors, calling the procedures “unforgivable.”

Trump also said his policy changes would extend to education.

He has already vowed to create a “new credentialing body for teachers” regarding the teaching of race history, but added that the panel will “promote positive education about the nuclear family, the roles of mothers and fathers and celebrating, rather than erasing, the things that make men and women different.”

He said his Department of Education would impose “severe consequences” on any teachers or school officials who “suggest to a child that they could be trapped in the wrong body,” which could include civil rights penalties for the individuals and a loss of federal funding for schools.

“The left-wing gender insanity being pushed at our children is an act of child abuse. Very simple. Here’s my plan to stop the chemical, physical and emotional mutilation of our youth,” Trump said.

Trump’s proclamation comes as he looks to reignite momentum for his second presidential campaign and as conservatives nationwide have become increasingly concerned about trans issues, especially gender-affirming care for minors.

The hardline stance is a departure for Trump, who distinguished himself from more traditional social conservatives in the 2016 Republican presidential primary by openly courting LGBT voters.

The former Democratic donor from Manhattan said in 2016 that he was “fine” with same-sex marriage and would be a “real friend” of the LGBT community and has bragged about how he “did great with the gay population,” compared to other Republican presidential candidates.

Five Republican-leaning states have enacted bans or restrictions on gender-affirming care for minors over the past two years: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah

Lawmakers in at least 21 states have proposed bills so far this year seeking to ban or restrict gender-affirming care for minors.

Judges have blocked the laws in Alabama and Arkansas from taking effect, pending the outcome of lawsuits.

The ACLU of Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have told NBC News they plan to file suit against Utah within two weeks over its law, which was signed by the governor on Saturday.