Utah Senate approves bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors

The Utah Senate voted to approve SB 16(Opens in a new window), a bill to amend current state law to ban gender-affirming surgery for transgender youth and stop access to forms of hormone therapy. The state would be the first to do so in 2023 should the law be signed, continuing a year of continued attacks on transgender rights.

Despite being overwhelmed(Opens in a new window) medical evidence of this(Opens in a new window) Access to gender-affirming procedures(Opens in a new window) is a life saving resource(Opens in a new window)State politicians are still debating the effectiveness of such health services — it’s a not-so-subtle assault on transgender acceptance and a broadening nationwide assault on bodily autonomy.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox told the local press he had no plans to veto the legislation if it came to his desk, although he has denounced similar legislative moves in the past and was one of two Republican lawmakers who vetoed a 2022 bill barring young female trans athletes from competing in girls’ sports(Opens in a new window). State Senator Daniel Thatcher, however, opposed an earlier version of the bill, noting that “every credible medical organization on the planet says this is the safest, best and most appropriate treatment to save these lives”.


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Earlier this month, the Utah Senate also passed SB 93(Opens in a new window)a bill that would ban government officials from issuing gender-biased birth certificates to minors.

SB 16 prohibits these specific forms of surgical and hormonal care only for transgender youth. The provisions would apply to minors who receive a professional medical diagnosis after the bill goes into effect on May 3, 2023. Young people diagnosed before that date may still be able to receive gender-affirming care if they meet a list of requirements established by state legislatures, and state legislators provide exceptions for minors who are intersex, experienced early puberty, and considered to be in need of treatment for “medically necessary” reasons.

In 2021, Arkansas became the first state to ban health care for transgender youth(Opens in a new window), followed by similar legislative moves from more than 20 other states. In 2023, some states have expanded their already restrictive laws to include non-minor patients(Opens in a new window), even. Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia introduced laws that would prohibit state health care providers from treating patients under the age of 21. A second Oklahoma law known as the Millstone Act(Opens in a new window), proposes a ban on gender-affirming care for those under the age of 26 – the most restrictive yet.

Nationwide, activists, allies and other progressive state parliaments(Opens in a new window) are working to codify LGBTQ protections and provide life-saving resources to those most at risk. Meanwhile, transgender and gender-nonconforming youth must navigate these legislative intrusions on their privacy in an increasingly tense political environment.

https://mashable.com/article/utah-gender-affirming-care-ban Utah Senate approves bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors

Zack Zwiezen

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