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Republican Senator Sparks Outrage Over Questioning Trans Doctor On Genitalia During Gender-Affirming Care Hearing

mattmckee pp

Feb. 15 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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A Republican senator sparked outrage over invasive questions asked to a transgender physician during a senate judiciary hearing on gender-affirming care. Arkansas Senator Matt McKee shocked attendees when he asked Dr. Gwendolyn Herzig if she had a penis, has learned.

The hearing was called to discuss Arkansas' proposed SB199, which would allow individuals who underwent gender-affirming care as minors to sue physicians for malpractice.

The debate came as tensions between Republican lawmakers and constituents battle over personal rights and the level of interference from the government on individuals' personal healthcare choices.

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Source: @es_queer/twitter

Audible groans of disbelief could be heard on Monday from the Senate judiciary floor.

"You said that you're a trans-woman?" Senator McKee asked Dr. Herzig, according to the Daily Mail. "Do you have a penis?"

Shock filled the room as Dr. Herzig took a moment before she responded to the invasive question.

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Source: @es_queer/twitter
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After she collected herself, Dr. Herzig responded to the Republican and told him, "that's horrible." The physician doubled down on her disgust, slamming McKee's remark as "highly inappropriate."

Dr. Herzig was present at the hearing to discuss the consequences that SB199 would have on medical professionals, as well as transgender minors and their families who sought gender-affirming healthcare.

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Source: @es_queer/twitter
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Unfazed by the gasps that his question evoked, the GOP lawmaker hit back by telling the doctor, "you're the one that brought that into the discussion."

Dr. Herzig refused to walk back her response.

"I don't know what my rights are," Dr. Herzig quipped at the senator. "But that question was highly inappropriate."

"I'm a healthcare professional — a doctor — please treat me as such," she added.

Before McKee's question, Dr. Herzig argued that a lack of empathy from lawmakers on transgender rights was a crucial hurdle posed to the trans community and healthcare professionals alike.

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"Bills like SB199 are designed to hinder, not help, Arkansans," Dr. Herzig said during her testimony.

Regardless of the physician's personal comments, as well as uproar from the trans community and medical community urging lawmakers to leave gender-affirming care out of debates, SB199 could be brought to the Senate floor as soon as this week.



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