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Sarah Sanders hits back after Karine Jean-Pierre says 'a child' and parents should decide on trans surgeries

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined "The Faulkner Focus" to react to Karine Jean-Pierre saying a "child and their parents" should decide on gender change surgeries.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) responded Thursday after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre voiced opposition to states passing legislation against child gender-affirming surgeries and hormone therapies. 

Sanders, who was White House press secretary for President Trump from 2017 to 2019, joined "Faulkner Focus" to discuss how her state is fighting to "protect kids" and "empower parents." 

"We certainly cannot expect to anything meaningful in this space to come out of Washington. And it's why I think you're seeing so many Republican governors step up and pass legislation that does exactly that. It protects kids. It bans some of these permanent life-altering surgeries and makes sure that we're putting the focus on our children and empowering parents to make the best decisions possible." 


A bill that would require parental approval for Arkansas teachers to address transgender students by the pronouns and names that they use was approved by lawmakers Wednesday and is now headed to Sanders' desk.

The bill was approved by the majority-Republican Senate on a 19-5 vote. It requires parental approval for teachers at public schools, including colleges and universities, to use a minor student’s pronoun that is "inconsistent" with the student’s biological sex or a name that’s not listed on the student’s birth certificate. It also would prohibit schools from requiring teachers to use the pronouns or name a student uses.

Sanders said the focus is on what is best for children and "empowering parents to make the best decisions possible."

"The parents have to be involved and not just involved, but they have to be the decision maker. That's their responsibility. That's their role. And trying to cut parents out of the process is simply unacceptable and not something I think that we can allow to happen."

During the press conference, Washington Examiner writer Philip Wegmann asked Jean-Pierre about President Biden’s position on puberty blockers and gender transition surgeries for minors after Indiana recently passed a law banning both procedures.

"Today Indiana just banned puberty blockers, hormone therapies, and gender transition surgeries for minors. I’m wondering what the president’s reaction is to the Indiana governor signing that bill into law. And does the president have a position on at what age these kinds of therapies and surgeries are appropriate?" Wegmann asked.

"That’s something for a child and their parents to decide, it’s not something we believe should be decided by legislators. So I’ll leave it there," Jean-Pierre responded.

Jean-Pierre previously received backlash on Friday after insisting that the transgender community was "under attack" just days after a transgender shooter killed three children and three adults at a Christian school in Nashville.

Sanders stressed that a child cannot make a "life-altering" decision of that magnitude. 

"I have three kids and most days they can't decide what they want for breakfast. We go through 10 different versions of what we're going to dress up as for Halloween," she said. 


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