Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Utah Gov. Signs Law Restricting Sex-Change Procedures for Minors

'While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us... '

(Headline USAUtah became the latest state to restrict or ban so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors this week, restricting both puberty blockers and hormones and prohibiting sex-reassignment surgeries.

“More 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,” Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said in a statement on Saturday.

The legislation, known as “Transgender Medical Treatment and Procedures,” makes it illegal for health care providers to provide “a hormonal transgender treatment to new patients who were not diagnosed with gender dysphoria before a certain date.” It also “prohibits performing sex characteristic surgical procedures on a minor.”

The new law will take effect on July 1. And starting Jan. 1, 2024, doctors who provide hormonal treatment to minors can be charged for “unprofessional conduct.”

“While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures,” Cox said.

The leftist American Civil Liberties Union vowed in a statement to challenge the law in court.

“The bill is riddled with numerous constitutional issues. It violates the equal protection rights of transgender adolescents and the due process rights of their parents. This bill clearly discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status,” ACLU of Utah executive director Brittney Nystrom said in a statement. “The bill also infringes upon the substantive due process rights of parents to direct the care, custody, and control of their minor children, which includes the right to follow medical guidelines for treatment.”

Four other states have recently passed legislation to restrict sex-change treatments for minors: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Tennessee. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott also signed an executive order restricting the procedures, instructing the state’s health agencies to classify sex-change treatments as “child abuse.”

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