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Idaho Lawmakers Just Passed ‘One of the Most Extreme’ Trans Healthcare Bans Yet

Idaho is the latest state to advance an anti-transgender bill targeting gender affirming healthcare.

Earlier this week, the state House overwhelmingly passed HB 71, a trans healthcare ban advocates are calling “one of the most extreme” of its kind. As The Associated Press reported, the legislation would make it a felony offense for healthcare professionals to provide gender affirming hormone therapy, puberty blockers, or surgeries to trans people under the age of 18. (Mind you, gender affirming surgeries are not currently being performed on minors in the state.) It now goes to the state Senate for a final vote.

Republican state Rep. Bruce Skaug claimed HB 71 is necessary to “protect children.” In reality, banning gender affirming care flies in the face of recommendations from virtually every major medical association in the U.S., including the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.

A substantial body of research — including a New England Journal of Medicine study published in January — suggests access to this care vastly improves mental health outcomes for trans youth. Barring it for trans children and teens in the Gem State will likely do the exact opposite, causing unnecessary harm to a group that is already disproportionately affected by bullying and suicidal ideation.

In a statement to the AP, Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Indiana, Kentucky, described Idaho’s HB 71 as particularly “extreme.”

“Gender affirming care is time sensitive and life-saving,” Gibron continued. “Patients, families, and health care providers — no one else — should decide what care is in the best interest of transgender youth, in accordance with current medical best practices.”

Just weeks ago, Utah became the fifth state in the U.S. to outlaw gender affirming care for trans minors. If this bill makes it to Gov. Brad Little’s desk, Idaho could become number six.

Idaho’s HB 71 is the latest in a deluge of state-level legislation targeting the transgender and nonbinary community. The attacks began in earnest in 2020 and have only gained steam among Republican lawmakers in the years since. Many of these bills take aim at America’s 300,000-plus trans youth, jeopardizing their access to everything from gender affirming care to school sports. Some, including an absurd bill introduced in Oklahoma last month, even propose stripping rights away from trans youth and adults.

In 2023 alone, state lawmakers have introduced at least 95 bills targeting trans healthcare, according the ACLU’s anti-LGBTQ+ legislative tracker. And we’re only midway through February.

These legislative attacks have left parents of trans youth concerned about how best to support their children.

Before you go, check out these mental health apps we swear by:


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