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  • Writer's pictureMaria L. Doyle

Submitted Testimony on HB 1011

I am the Director of Primary Prevention at NH Children's Trust, an agency dedicated to assuring that children have the safe, stable and nurturing environments and relationships they need to thrive and are free from harm.  My testimony is informed by the expertise I've developed through my work but is offered as a private citizen.  Transgender children are children and deserve access to all the medical care they need to assure they can be their healthiest and strongest.  What care they need should be the decision of the child, their parents, and their doctors.  Dr. Melissa Merrick, the CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America (of which NH Children's Trust is the state chapter), in  an official statement said this: "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that gender minority high school students attempt suicide at a rate four times higher than heterosexual students. Compared to their straight peers, LGBTQ+ youth report having more adverse childhood experiences (ACES) – risk factors including physical, emotional, sexual abuse, household mental illness and substance abuse – putting them at higher risk for poor physical and mental health throughout their lifetime.

 

Research indicates that those numbers are even higher for transgender youth. In addition, the Administration for Children and Families reports that youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are overrepresented in the child welfare system and face additional challenges when interacting with child welfare."   These statistics are not something inherent in being LGBTQ+ but rather a result of trying to survive in a world where they face lack of acceptance, discrimination, and a dearth of competent medical care. 

 

Do not further burden these families by labeling their search for competent affirming care for their children as child-abuse.  leave these decisions to their parents, and medical providers.    I echo Dr. Merrick's sentiments when she shares: "We believe pediatricians and other physicians, in partnership with families and other health care professionals, are best able to determine the necessary, comprehensive, gender-affirming and developmentally appropriate healthcare in a safe and inclusive physical space. Every major professional health organization, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the Endocrine Society, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry recognize the importance of providing all youth with access to comprehensive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate healthcare in a safe and inclusive clinical space."

 

This legislation puts children in harm's way and takes autonomy and decision making away from parents.  I oppose this legislation.

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