U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) is co-sponsoring legislation prohibiting federal funding for sex-reassignment research on minors.

According to Tuberville's office, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded taxpayer-funded grant money to four pediatric clinics to conduct research in a study titled "The Impact of Early Medical Treatment in Transgender Youth" in 2015. The money was awarded through NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD). The study's notes show that the research included children as young as eight.

Tuberville said Congress did not direct the NICHD to conduct the study, and it appears that one of the clinics may have fraudulently used funds awarded through the grant to perform double mastectomies on girls as young as 13. This study was renewed in 2021 for up to four more years to evaluate and monitor the effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones on participants.

The Protecting Our Kids from Harmful Research Act would prohibit federal funds from supporting research or publications relating to gender transition in individuals under the age of 18, including observational studies that gather evidence on the provision of hormonal treatments or surgical procedures on minors to affirm the child's perception of their identity if it is inconsistent with biological sex.

"Children are not capable of giving full consent to irreversible, life-altering elective surgery," Coach Tuberville said. "Subjecting healthy, developing children to damaging and harmful procedures without a grave medical purpose is absolutely wrong, and taxpayers shouldn't be forced to pay for these extreme and reckless practices."

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