2 More States Ban Gender-Affirming Care

Idaho, Indiana governors sign bans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
2 More States Ban Gender-Affirming Care
FILE - Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters at the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Indianapolis. On Wednesday, April 5, Holcomb signed a bill that bans all gender-affirming care for minors in the state despite expressing reservations that it vaguely written.   (AP Photo/Tom Davies, File)

Republican governors in Indiana and Idaho have signed into law bills banning gender-affirming care for minors, making those states the latest to prohibit transgender health care as Republican-led legislatures work to restrict LGBTQ+ rights this year, the AP reports. Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday signed legislation that will prohibit transgender youth from accessing medication or surgeries to transition, and for those currently taking it to stop by the end of the year. Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed legislation on Tuesday evening that criminalizes gender-affirming care for youth.

At least 13 states have laws banning gender-affirming care for minors. More than a dozen other states are considering bills that would prohibit transgender youth from accessing hormone therapies, puberty blockers and transition surgeries, even after the approval of parents and the advice of doctors. Other proposals target transgender individuals by legislating their participation in everyday life—including sports, workplaces and schools. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed a lawsuit rapidly after Holcomb signed the Indiana legislation—something the group had promised to do after Republican supermajorities advanced the ban this session.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of four transgender youth and an Indiana doctor who provides transgender medical treatment. It argues the ban violates the US Constitution’s equal protection guarantees as well as federal laws regarding essential medical services. Under the Indiana law that takes effect July 1, doctors who offer gender-affirming care to minors would be disciplined by a licensing board. Under the Idaho law set to go into effect next January, providing hormones, puberty blockers or other gender-affirming care to people under age 18 would be a felony crime. Transgender medical treatments for children and teens have also been available in the US for more than a decade and are endorsed by major medical associations.

(More transgender rights stories.)

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