Will child safeguarding prevail in South Australia?

South Australia is set to become the first state in the country to conduct a parliamentary inquiry into gender identity practices. The inquiry is being proposed by Independent MP Frank Pangallo and is supported by Liberals and One Nation.

Unsurprisingly those on the left in the Labor party are opposed to a broad inquiry but it is believed there are members of the Labor right who will vote in favour of an inquiry.

Premier Peter Malinauskas has indicated he doesn’t want to ban gender treatments but is not opposed to investigating the practices to ensure young people are not “rushed into making life-altering decisions they may come to regret”.

“Given the way the numbers have exploded, I’d have thought it is a pretty clear-cut issue of child protection we are talking about here,” Mr Pangallo said. “We need to make sure these kids aren’t making a decision that is ill-informed, or that they’re being pressured or rushed into it, or that they aren’t perhaps suffering from some other kind of mental health issue that can be resolved through other treatment.

“I am not coming at this from some right-wing angle, or any angle for the matter. I just think it is common sense that with a serious debate under way about the wisdom of what is being done here that we need to take stock and hear from both sides and let the cards fall where they may.”

Mr Pangallo has referred to other states and the alarming rise in children being sent down the ‘affirmation’ pathways that can lead to regret and great harm:

“This is all about having a balanced perspective and learning more so that we as legislators can take a far more responsible approach in dealing with it,” he said.

“To ignore it would be at the peril of those we are trying to assist. I fully expect to be attacked by the transactivists and ideologues who dominate this arena. However, I want them to participate and contribute, to put aside the vexed politics. Yet raising it in the proper context of a public debate still attracts fury, hate and retribution.”

There will be a vote on Wednesday  7 February to determine whether or not the inquiry will go ahead.

Pauline Hanson proposed a federal inquiry last year that was rejected in the Senate.

It is staggering that the legislators around the country are mostly prepared to allow experimental practices and off-label (unapproved) drug prescriptions to continue. If the South Australian inquiry is allowed to go ahead this could have far reaching implications for the rest of Australia. In the UK, the independent Cass Review resulted in a pause in issuing children puberty blockers unless it was done for the purpose of clinical studies. The Nordic countries have made similar decisions after inquiries were held in their countries.

This is ultimately about child safe-guarding and ensuring that every child has the best care. Exposing them to experimental pathways and unapproved drugs has led to an increasing number of people expressing regret and sharing horror stories about the side effects of such treatments such as sterility and zero sexual function.

All Australian children deserve the best care and the only way this can be attained is via rigorous and thorough investigations of the available pathways and treatments.