Rights group condemns Utah law prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors News
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Rights group condemns Utah law prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors

Human Rights Campaign Monday condemned Utah Governor Spencer Cox for signing SB16, a law prohibiting healthcare professionals from providing hormonal treatment to minors who were not diagnosed with gender dysphoria before the law was signed. The legislation effectively bans hormonal treatment for future transgender people under the age of 18 and prohibits doctors from performing gender-affirming surgeries on minors.

Human Rights Campaign stated:

This law is one of many dangerous efforts by far right political extremists and national anti-LGBTQ+ organizations are launching in Utah and across the country against transgender youth and their families. Bolstered by disinformation spread by social media and designed to take aim at age appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care for transgender youth, these bans directly place the health, safety and wellbeing of transgender youth in Utah at risk.

LGBTQ mental health organization The Trevor Project recently opposed the law, citing their 2021 research which confirmed that transgender and nonbinary minors who receive gender-affirming care have significantly a lower likelihood of depression and attempting suicide. The Utah division of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) condemned the law in an open letter addressed to Cox, stating it discriminated on the basis of sex and transgender status. However, Cox stated, “[m]ore and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.”

SB16 is part of a massive debate on gender-affirming treatment to minors in the US. While Ohio proposed a bill in November to limit gender-affirming treatment for minors, Oklahoma passed a law in October to withhold COVID relief funds from hospitals providing gender-affirming care to minors. In August, a federal appeals court ruled that Arkansas may not prohibit doctors from providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth in the state.