Utah bans sex change surgeries for minors; 18 more US states likely to follow
Cox ignored that evidence on Saturday as he defended “pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long term consequences'
Utah: The state of Utah’s restriction on providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender adolescents was signed into law on Saturday by Governor Spencer Cox.
SB 16 forbids medical professionals from operating on anyone under the age of 18 who wants to transition.
Additionally, it forbids hormone therapy for any youngster who has not yet received a gender dysphoria diagnosis and treatment. Cox’s signature made the measure effective right away.
The American Medical Association has consistently resisted political efforts to limit access to care that is gender affirming.
In a 2021 statement, AMA board member Michael Suk stated that “gender-affirming care is medically required, evidence-based care that enhances the physical and mental wellbeing of transgender and gender-diverse people.”
Cox ignored that evidence on Saturday as he defended “pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long term consequences.”
“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 to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures,” he said in a statement.
Less than a year after he rejected a bill that would have prohibited trans pupils from participating in females’ sports, he signed the law.
Cox was commended at the time for understanding the detrimental consequences a ban would have on the mental health of trans children, even though the state legislature ultimately overrode his veto.
“I am unable to comprehend their plight or the reasons behind their emotions. However, I want them to survive. And all the evidence points to the fact that even a little acceptance and connection can considerably lower suicidality,” Last year, Cox stated.
Advocates, however claim they are committed to defending the rights of trans youngsters and are preparing to file a lawsuit against the new law.
“We will protect the right of trans children to grow up free from ongoing political attacks on their lives and access to healthcare,” the ACLU of Utah said in a statement.
“We will pursue every legal option available to protect the civil rights and liberties of transgender and non-binary individuals from the politicians who are using their position of power to trample on these freedoms with every infringement on the rights of transgender Utahns. We see you. We support you,” he said.
The bill “compromises the health and well-being of teenagers with gender dysphoria,” according to the ACLU, which urged Cox to reject the measure in a letter on Friday.
The letter stated that the bill “is rife with numerous constitutional concerns.”
“It infringes upon the parents’ entitlement to due process as well as the equal protection rights of transgender youth. This bill blatantly discriminates against transgender people and people of other sexes. The bill also
violates parents’ substantive due process rights to decide how to care for, control, and raise their minor children, including their ability to receive medical advice when necessary,” reads the letter.
The largest LGBTQ civil rights group in the state, Equality Utah, claimed on its website that a legal challenge to the measure is “inevitable.”
The message added, “We realise many families are scared and wondering what will happen next.”
“To determine the full impact of this bill, we are collaborating with our legal team. A legal battle is unavoidable, that much is certain. This work is not yet finished. In many ways, it is only getting started,” it said.
Utah’s prohibition on gender-affirming child care is the first transgender law to be passed in 2023. Republican legislators had given it top priority at the beginning of the legislative session.
The Associated Press noted that at least 18 additional states are studying measures on healthcare for trans children, so more states are likely to follow.
According to the Trevor Project’s 2022 national survey on the mental health of LGBTQ youth, 93% of transgender and nonbinary kids reported worrying about being denied access to gender-affirming medical care because of state or municipal regulations.
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