Twenty-two states have passed laws restricting in varying degrees the practice of the grossly inaccurately termed “gender-affirming care” for minors. The majority of those states did so in 2023. Additional bills aimed at protecting children from irreversible physical harm are being put forward this legislative cycle in states with Republican majority legislatures.

But even in deep blue states, a growing number of concerned parents and citizens want to protect children from these procedures. In California, signatures are currently being collected for a statewide ballot initiative that will prevent the “sterilization of children by prohibiting the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, mastectomies and genital surgeries for minors.”

The reason for their concern should be obvious. Children’s brains aren’t fully developed, and they aren’t deemed old enough to smoke tobacco or drink alcohol. Furthermore, these minors can’t consent to sex. Without question, they shouldn’t be able to consent to drugs or surgeries that cause damage to their bodies and sexual function.

Democratic lawmakers, on the other hand, in lockstep with Big Pharma, the entertainment industry, and government agencies, insist children—often in secret from dads and moms—be encouraged and legally allowed to alter their bodies with experimental drugs and surgeries.

It’s past due time to stop calling puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries that remove the breasts and genitalia of minor-aged children “care.” Affirming mental illness or the rejection of biological reality in any individual, let alone a minor, is the opposite of care. Consider that therapists and medical professionals don’t affirm and advise self-harm with other mental illness conditions. For example, people struggling with anorexia aren’t affirmed in their false thinking that they’re overweight. Mental and health care professionals don’t advise behaviors, drugs, or procedures—such as reducing calorie intake, prescribing diet pills, or conducting surgeries to remove body fat—that would aid in further self-harm.