Anti-choicers and anti-trans folks make the same argument: having an abortion/taking puberty blockers is too complex a decision for a teen, they say. We can’t let them choose when the stakes are so high, they say. The implication is that we can avoid these high stakes by not allowing abortion / puberty blockers.
But the “no treatment” option anti-choicers demand doesn’t maintain the status quo for a pregnant teen. Letting nature take its course – forcing a teen to go through childbirth – is likely to radically change a teen’s life in ways that can never be reversed.
The “let’s do nothing and wait” option doesn’t maintain the status quo for trans teens, either. In both cases, banning treatment forces the teens to go through permanent changes that may do them great harm.
Banning a treatment – whether it’s puberty blockers or abortion – isn’t putting off deciding until later. It’s the government making the decision right now, without regard for what’s best for the teen.
For teens who may be trans, there is a “putting off deciding” option – and that option is puberty blockers.
And they’re not easy to get! There are already so many barriers to treatment! It can take YEARS between diagnosis and beginning to receive puberty blockers.
If a young teen is pregnant, forcing them to give birth would be horrible and traumatic. And forcing an abortion on them would be horrible and traumatic. It’s a decision that HAS to be made by the teen. In consultation with parents and doctors, sure. But in the end, neither childbirth nor abortion can be justly forced on anyone.
If a young person has gender dysphoria, I hope they get good counsel from parents, from doctors, from loved ones, and from trusted adults who have gone through the same thing. But in the end, it would be unjust and traumatizing to either force them to take puberty blockers, or to force them to go through the wrong sex’s puberty. Like the choice between abortion and childbirth, this decision HAS to be made by the person themselves.
Will some people look back, years later, and think they made the wrong decision?
Yes. It may be rare, but it inevitably happens sometimes.
Just like there are people who got abortions young and grew up and regretted it. That’s sad, but we shouldn’t therefore ban abortion.
If “someday, some small number of patients will regret this treatment” was a reason to ban a treatment, there’d be very little medicine left.