Surgery for Children

Let’s try to talk about the morality of transgender surgeries for minors.  The reason is because our Lord Jesus says in the Gospel, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).  Transgenderism is growing extremely quickly, a number of us talk about it, and there’s a pressure to accept this worldview.  However, because we love Jesus and all people, we need to speak about God’s vision for the human person, which includes the body.  Pope Francis himself has been very strong in speaking out on this issue because he, too, is trying to follow Jesus’ commandments.

We’re focused on this specific topic because transgenderism is a huge issue.  My hope is that, whatever we think about the big issue, we can all agree that we should love people and, on this topic, that surgery for children is not the right thing to do.

St. Peter writes in the Second Reading, “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pt 3:15-16).  The ‘hope’ to which he’s referring is the Good News of Jesus: that we’re created by God, Who is our Father, and that, though He loves us, we’ve separated ourselves from Him.  Yet, we’re offered reconciliation through Jesus.  The fact that we’re created by God means that our bodies are good, being made male and female is good.

The context for this Reading is 64-68 A.D., when the early Christians were persecuted by Emperor Nero.  A Roman historian at that time named Tacitus wrote that Christians were “a class hated for their abominations”One of their so-called abominations was that they wouldn’t acknowledge the Roman gods or sacrifice to them because of their love for Jesus.  And they had to explain why they didn’t do whatever everyone else did ‘with gentleness and reverence.’  When we speak about the issue of transgender surgery for children, it’s important that we be dispassionate and listen to each other.  

Some years ago, I did a funeral here and a number of transgender people came—that was great; I loved them as I try to love everyone else.  We probably disagree on many things, but they came to a Catholic church and we were all respectful to each other.

The starting point of morality for surgery for children is the principle of bodily integrity: It’s not right to remove healthy organs.  The body is good, and our reproductive organs are good.  It’s wrong to cut off the healthy breasts of a girl who is a minor; it’s wrong to cut off the penis of a boy who is a minor.  When someone is anorexic, we don’t help them lose weight; we love, support, and counsel them to see that they’re not overweight.

Minors are also too young to make a life altering decision.  The reason it’s against the law for minors to drink alcohol or drive under the age of 16 is because they cannot consider all the consequences of their actions.

A Canadian with a doctorate in sexology, Dr. Debra Soh, who’s not religious or conservative, has written a whole book on how society is denying science.  Dr. Soh says that, “Across all eleven long-term studies ever done on gender dysphoric children, between 60 and 90 percent desist by puberty,” and, “Even with more stringent criteria, it’s still possible that children who say they are the opposite sex will end up desisting one day” (The End of Gender, 141, 144).  For the children who persist in their gender dysphoria, and, in her mind, who would benefit from surgery, they still aren’t getting proper diagnosis to find out if they’re ideal candidates.  So, her point is: wait.  The Church would argue that, in principle, we should never remove healthy organs, but, if we don’t believe this, could we at least accept that children should wait until they’re adults?

We always hear from the mainstream media and our government the positive stories of those who transition, and we’re always told that there are no problems.  So, we should listen to stories of people who de-transition.  This video is about the most well-known individual, because she’s suing the care consortium who hurt her.  It’s very instructive and gives us the truth of what’s happening.  However, just to let you know, there are some sad pictures, not graphic, of post-surgery of women who have had double mastectomies.

At least 24 states in the U.S. are trying to restrict or ban these mutilations of children, and last year we showed a video how the Tavistock Gender Clinic in the UK was going to be shut down (which happened in August 2022) “after an investigation by the National Health Service concluded that the standard of care there endangered children”.  The same video reported that a Swedish hospital known for its gender care stopped surgeries and puberty blockers for those under 16.  In 2021, Finland’s medical guidelines started opposing “most puberty blocking and adolescent transitioning”.  And this past March 9, the Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board ruled that, “Under the new guidelines… hormone therapy and gender-reassignment surgery for minors would be restricted to research settings”.  So, there’s plenty of science that supports not doing surgeries on children.

Dr. Erin Brewer identified as transgender for years as a child, because, when five years-old, she was sexually assaulted by two men who brought her and her brother into a bathroom, but they only assaulted her while they held him.  Subconsciously, she resented being a girl because of this, and so changed her name to Timothy and acted like a boy for years.  During this time, her teachers and counsellors gently supported her but never affirmed her as a boy.  It was only in high school that she was able to bring up this trauma, and this disclosure began to help her heal.

In a recent talk, Dr. Brewer made three good points:

1) She believes that almost every woman experiences some discomfort with their body, especially around puberty, because a woman’s body goes through so many hormonal and physical changes.  This is a painful but normal part of development.  Yet people now say to girls, “You feel uncomfortable in your body, we’ll change it,” which explains why the vast majority of adolescents who want to transition are girls.  What we should be doing is supporting girls through these discomforts.

2) The suicide claim.  No one wants anyone to kill themselves.  Dr. Brewer says that telling people the truth is not anti-transgender.  “In no other case do we say, if someone’s suicidal, we’re going to give them what they want.  A truly suicidal person is not capable of consent, and so they’re not capable of making these big decisions about transitioning”.  In addition, Aaron Kimberly, a Canadian who was born a woman and has undergone a sex change, and who is a registered nurse, says this (at 30:19-31:50):

3) Dr. Brewer says, “When my daughter was born, it was the first time in my life that I was proud of myself and my body, and really happy to be a woman, because I was able to create this beautiful person, and I just looked at her, and I was like, my body must be okay, because it made this wonderful baby”.  And she’s absolutely right.

The transgender question is a big issue, so today, we’ve started with probably the simplest moral part.  People will talk about all sorts of things around this issue, and we can always start here.  We may have different views, but can we at least agree that cutting off the healthy body parts of children is wrong?

St. Peter writes, “Do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord” (1 Pt 3:14-15).  To ‘sanctify Christ as Lord’ means to show Him reverence, and, because we love Him and all people, we need to share the truth.  When it comes to transgender surgery for children, we must protect, not harm them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>