Bills in Several States Aim to Criminalize Transgender Treatments for Children

Headline Roundup February 9th, 2020

This post was updated 2/10/2020 at 5:08 p.m. ET

Recently introduced bills in South Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, South Carolina and Florida aim to criminalize transgender transition-related medical treatments on patients younger than 16 years old. A Republican-controlled South Dakota state Senate voted 5-2 to kill their proposed version of the bill Monday.

Some on the left criticized the proposed laws, arguing that outlawing treatment could endanger transgender youth; some on the right said the legislation was proposed to protect children.

Bills in Several States Aim to Criminalize Transgender Treatments for Children

From the Center

A polarizing debate is happening around the nation as lawmakers in eight states have introduced bills in recent weeks seeking to restrict transition-related treatment for transgender youth.

Proponents say the measures protect minors from medical changes they may regret as adults, while opponents say the bills prevent doctors from following health care guidelines approved by organizations such as the American Medical Association.

The South Dakota House passed its version of the bill last week, which would impose a one-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $2,000 on doctors...

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From the Right

CLAIM: The Washington Post reported youth puberty blockers are “reversible” in an article critical of a South Dakota proposed law that would criminalize treating transgender young people with medical treatments or surgery.


South Dakota could become the first state in the nation to criminalize treating transgender youths under 16 years old with medical treatment or surgery.

A WaPo piece published on January 28 stated:

Hormone treatment, which can be used to delay puberty, is reversible and medical evidence suggests allowing transgender children to delay puberty until they are...

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From the Left

Early in my medical training, I read a landmark case study about a 12-year-old boy who wrote a suicide note to his mother saying he would rather die than go through puberty. I later met teenagers who tightly bound their chests — knowing that it could result in fractured ribs — because the emotional pain of seeing their breasts was much worse than any imaginable physical pain.

These children are transgender, and they account for almost 2 percent of youth in the United States. They are suffering from the psychological...

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