On December 2nd, 2020, Utah’s governor signed into law a bill that would terminate gender-affirming health care treatments for transgender minors. The new law prohibits doctors from providing gender transition services, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy, to minors. This legislation has been highly controversial, both praising and condemning it for its broad implications and effects.
Supporters of the bill have advanced the argument that it is a means of protecting children from the effects of early gender transition. Opponents point out that the bill not only denies those who actively seek such treatments from receiving them, but also has the potential to silence and further stigmatize those seeking to explore their gender identity.
The new law has caused sizable protests, with many advocates arguing that such a sweeping bill only further dehumanizes transgender minors by presenting their gender identity as a medical condition that needs to be treated. Critics of the bill, including medical professionals, also claim that the law is ill-equipped to address how best to support transgender individuals.
Furthermore, the law has generated heated discussion, even in the medical community. Some physicians have stated that they have an ethical obligation to provide care that transgender individuals need, while other doctors see the limitation of treatments to be in the best interest of minors.
Ultimately, the bill’s enactment will result in social and legal ramifications due to its bundling of gender affirmations treatments with consensually-transmitted medical procedures such as abortion. The legislation’s lasting impact depends on the actions of medical professionals who, in accordance with their ethical codes, must decide between making necessary interventions for those in need, or adhering to restrictive state laws. [ad_1]
NPR’s Scott Simon speaks with Dr. Ellie Brownstein, president of the Utah chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, about Utah’s new legislation banning gender affirming treatment for transgender youth.
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