Florida and Kentucky pass anti-transgender bills banning gender-affirming care for minors
The states of Florida and Kentucky have recently passed laws that ban doctors from providing gender-affirming medical treatment to transgender minors. The Florida bill, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis on April 29th, prohibits healthcare professionals from administering hormones or surgery to anyone under the age of 18 in order to change their sex characteristics. It also requires schools to verify a student’s biological sex before allowing them to participate in sports.
Kentucky’s Senate Bill 150 went into effect immediately upon its passage on March 30th, preventing physicians from prescribing puberty blockers or hormone therapy for trans youth under the age of 16. Additionally, it bans any medical professional who provides this type of care from practicing within state lines.
Criticism against the bills
Medical professionals and LGBTQ+ advocates have been quick to criticize these new laws as harmful towards young people struggling with their gender identity. Many point out that denying access to these treatments can lead trans individuals down a dangerous path towards mental health issues such as depression and anxiety:
“This is not medicine,” said Dr Jack Turban III, a researcher at Harvard Medical School studying child psychiatry who focuses on LGBTQ youth development. “These are politicians taking advantage of vulnerable families.”
Others argue that lawmakers should be focusing instead on policies which promote comprehensive sexual education programs; ones which cover topics like birth control options or consent rather than criminalizing legitimate medical procedures:
“We need more support for kids,” says Ivette González-Alé co-founder & CEO at Urban Health Solutions Miami Gardens Inc., “… we don’t need our government telling us how we can treat children medically.”
Despite strong opposition both locally and nationally, many conservative lawmakers continue pushing similar measures across other US states including Tennessee where teachers are mandated [to] refer students according only according with what they were assigned at birth