With transgender issues in the spotlight following the recent revelation by Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner, it’s unsurprising to learn that a state like Oregon would support state-subsidized sex change operations.

What is surprising to many, including to Oregon voters who did not get a chance to vote on this measure, is that these subsidized sex change operations are now available to 15-year-olds . . . without parental knowledge or consent.

From Fox News:

The list of things 15-year-olds are not legally allowed to do in Oregon is long: Drive, smoke, donate blood, get a tattoo — even go to a tanning bed.

But, under a first-in-the-nation policy quietly enacted in January that many parents are only now finding out about, 15-year-olds are now allowed to get a sex-change operation. Many residents are stunned to learn they can do it without parental notification — and the state will even pay for it through its Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan.

“It is trespassing on the hearts, the minds, the bodies of our children,” said Lori Porter of Parents’ Rights in Education. “They’re our children. And for a decision, a life-altering decision like that to be done unbeknownst to a parent or guardian, it’s mindboggling.”

In a statement, Oregon Health Authority spokeswoman Susan Wickstrom explained it this way: “Age of medical consent varies by state. Oregon law — which applies to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid Oregonians — states that the age of medical consent is 15.”

How can this happen without Oregon voters’ knowledge?  Fox explains:

While 15 is the medical age of consent in the state, the decision to cover sex-change operations specifically was made by the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC).

Members are appointed by the governor and paid by the state of Oregon. With no public debate, HERC changed its policy to include cross-sex hormone therapy, puberty-suppressing drugs and gender-reassignment surgery as covered treatments for people with gender dysphoria, formally known as gender identity disorder.

As Bret Baier points out at the beginning of the following segment, 15-year-olds are notoriously impressionable and fickle:

What is particularly troubling about this is that adults who have sex changes have been shown in a range of studies to remain as or to become more depressed and/or suicidal following surgery.  As noted in the above report, Johns Hopkins stopped doing the surgery after studying outcomes.

Medical researchers and mental health professionals find that “sex changes are not effective“:

There is no conclusive evidence that sex change operations improve the lives of transsexuals, with many people remaining severely distressed and even suicidal after the operation, according to a medical review conducted exclusively for Guardian Weekend tomorrow.

The review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham’s aggressive research intelligence facility (Arif) found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective.

The Guardian asked Arif to conduct the review after speaking to several people who regret changing gender or believe that the medical care they received failed to prepare them for their new lives. They explain why they are unhappy with their sex change and how they cope with the consequences in the Weekend magazine tomorrow (July 31).

Chris Hyde, the director of Arif, said: “There is a huge uncertainty over whether changing someone’s sex is a good or a bad thing. While no doubt great care is taken to ensure that appropriate patients undergo gender reassignment, there’s still a large number of people who have the surgery but remain traumatised – often to the point of committing suicide.”

With so much uncertainty surrounding the surgery for middle-aged adults, it seems irresponsible, even negligent, for Oregon to permit teenagers to endure this procedure without even parental consent.

According to Paul McHugh interviewed in the above video, the Oregon rule amounts to child abuse:

Paul McHugh, of Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Department and himself a pioneer in gender reassignment surgery, says Oregon’s policy amounts to child abuse. He is quoted as saying, “We have a very radical and even mutilating treatment being offered to children without any evidence that the long-term outcome of this would be good.”

A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry further calls into question the wisdom of this procedure, noting as it does that “most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty.”

Oregon won’t permit its 15-year-olds to get a tattoo or go to a tanning bed, but it pays for them to be forever changed physically, with all the emotional and psychological trauma this procedure entails?  And with no idea how it is likely to impact them in the future?  This is mind boggling to me, and I can’t imagine that this policy stands.