Utah Bans Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Youth!

In what is anticipated to be a wave of legislation by state legislatures to restrict transgender rights, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed a bill on Saturday that prohibits minors from receiving health care for gender change. This is the first such act in the nation this year. With a few exceptions, the legislation forbids hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery for transgender children in the state.

Mr. Cox, a Republican, said in a statement that banning these treatments was necessary until more research could be done on their long-term effects.
“While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work better to understand the science and consequences behind these procedures,” the governor said.
Leading medical organizations have refuted allegations that providing care for transgender people is harmful to them, including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

One type of this treatment, puberty blockers, has caused some medical professionals to express concern that it might have long-term implications on bone density.

According to the A.C.L.U. of Utah, the state’s new statute violates the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection. According to a spokesman, Aaron Welcher, “in this situation, legislators and the governor claim to care for Utah’s youngsters but neglect the medical professionals who look after them, the parents who love them, and the young people themselves.”

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Last year, Governor Cox joined two Republican governors in vetoing a bill prohibiting transgender students from playing sports for girls’ teams. He acknowledged the worries of transgender advocates that the law would negatively impact the mental health of transgender children at the time and referenced the high incidence of suicide among transgender youngsters.

After the legislature passed that measure, Mr. Cox addressed the transgender community in a news conference, saying: “We care about you. We love you. It’s going to be OK.”
Later, the governor’s veto was overridden by the Utah Legislature. In a meeting last week of the Utah House Health and Human Services Committee, State Senator Michael Kennedy, a Republican and family physician, said that allowing such treatments represented “a radical and dangerous push for children to enter this version of health care.” On Saturday, Mr. Cox praised Senator Kennedy for his support of the recent bill.
Utah Bans Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Youth!
Utah joined the four states that have passed legislation limiting transgender children’s access to care for gender transition: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Tennessee. While cases are being resolved, federal judges in Arkansas and Alabama have temporarily stopped those policies from going into effect.

Without the assistance of the Texas Legislature, Gov. Greg Abbott enacted similar restrictions last year, directing the state’s health authorities to label gender-affirming medical care as “child abuse” and allowing investigations into families who seek it. The state Supreme Court temporarily prohibited the governor and attorney general from directing inquiries. However,

the injunction only applied to the families who had filed a lawsuit and did not completely stop the law’s application. In at least 25 states this year, Republican lawmakers have introduced more than 150 proposals that would limit the rights of transgender individuals.

More than a dozen pieces of legislation are aimed at preventing transgender children and teenagers from getting hormonal or surgical treatment for gender dysphoria, which is distress about the discrepancy between their natal sex and gender identity.

All gender-affirming medical care for transgender people under age 26 has been considered a crime by Oklahoma and South Carolina lawmakers. Such treatment would be prohibited up to 21 under legislation in Kansas and Mississippi.

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