Utah Ban Gender affirming Care Transgender Anti-LGBTQ
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Utah becomes the first state to ban gender-affirming care through Anti-LGBTQ legislation, here’s an explanation of what it means and its effects on the trans community.

Ban on Gender-affirming Care

Utah has become the first state to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender and non-binary youths. It is a result of the anti-LGBTQ legislation among statehouses.

  • According to USA Today, the state’s Republican-dominated Legislature fast-tracked the bill. GOP Gov. Spencer Cox signed the legislation on Saturday,  just two days after the session opened. The bill prohibits transgender surgery for under 18 and benches hormone treatments for minors without gender dysphoria.

  • Apart from Utah, ten other states have introduced bills and bans targeting similar healthcare for transgender and gender-nonbinary people. The states namely are Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
  • This continues the Anti-LGBTQ legislation of 2022 when 15 states restricted access to gender-affirming care. Some of the bills hauled penalties for healthcare providers and the families of trans youth.

What is Gender-affirming Care?

Gender-affirming care is a medical term for individualized healthcare. There is no set definition for gender-affirming care so it includes everyone’s needs.

  • The Care can involve social transitions such as a new name, a new haircut, new clothing, and different pronouns. While medical care includes hormone therapy and puberty-delaying medications.
  • This individualized care supports transgender and non-binary youth to explore their identity. It takes away the ticking time bomb of approaching puberty although the medical aspect can be non-reversible.

How Will The Ban Impact Trans and Non-binary Community?

The ban targets the minors of the Trans and Non-binary community. The UCLA Williams Institute estimates 1.6 million people ages 13 and older as members of the trans community. Therefore, the bill takes away the power of choice from youth until they are legally adults.

  • The bill not only ceases medical care but also social care for minors which can worsen the discrimination and bias around their identity. It also negatively impacts their emotional and psychological needs.
  • According to data, approximately 82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves and 40% have attempted suicide. The new ban supporting Anti-LGBTQ sentiments can further affect these numbers.

Supporters Vs Opposers Of The Ban

Supporters of gender-affirming care bans claim they are saving young people from regret later in life. They believe it is wise to stop life-altering medical practices on youth until their long-term effects are understood.

  • However, major medical associations including the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association disagree. They believe this type of health care is necessary and expressed their support for the trans and non-binary communities in the recent criminalization of gender-affirming healthcare.
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Reactions to the Ban

The ACLU of Utah had urged Cox to turndown the bill. In a letter to the Governor, the ACLU pleads that by cutting off medical treatment support by medical associations the bill compromises the health and well-being of adolescents with gender dysphoria.

  • Further, they claim, The bill takes away the authority of doctors and parents by restricting access to the only treatment available and stops them from fulfilling their professional obligations.
  • The Human Rights Campaign also condemns the bill stating that bill is discriminatory as it bans care that is not only age-appropriate but supported by every major medical association. The bill opposes the opinions of more than 1.3 million doctors in America.
  • They further reasons, medical decisions are best left to medical experts, parents, or guardians.

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  • We will have to wait to see the impacts of the arguments and opposition towards the Anti-LGBTQ bill however, what do you suggest is better for trans and non-binary minors, and who should have the right to decide their identity? Let us know in the comments below and follow Spiel Times for more latest updates about current events, entertainment, gaming, and sports.
Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.