Idaho House Passes Bill To Criminalize Gender Affirming Care for Trans Youth

The Idaho House approved legislation Tuesday to make it a felony for a doctor to provide age-appropriate, medically-necessary, best practice gender-affirming care for transgender children.

House Bill 675 would place a ban on surgery, puberty blockers and hormone treatments that are used to assist in gender transition.

“It is so disappointing that some politicians in Boise have decided to follow Texas and Alabama down the path of imposing felony criminal penalties upon doctors who are simply doing their jobs,” said Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley in reaction to yesterday’s vote. “By making it impossible for doctors to provide care for their patients, transgender youth are denied the age-appropriate, best practice, medically-necessary, gender-affirming care that a new study just found reduces the risk of moderate or severe depression by 60% and suicidality by 73%.”

“Every kid in Idaho deserves the chance to grow up feeling safe and respected for who they are. Denying someone medically-necessary health care simply because you don’t approve of who they are is textbook discrimination. Decisions about what kind of care is appropriate for young people should be left up to the young person and their parents, in consultation with health care professionals, not by politicians looking to score political points at the expense of the well-being of transgender youth. It’s critical that the Senate listens to medical professionals, parents, and kids and refuse to entertain this flagrantly discriminatory legislation any further.”

Bree Ladimer is a trans woman and student at Boise State University who says this bill will only harm trans youth. According to Ladimer, her hormone placement and puberty blockers changed her life for the better.

“Once you go through therapy, you figure out all these different things about yourself, things finally start making sense in hindsight and then taking that step to start hormone replacement or puberty blockers, at that point, I feel like you are more sure about your identity than you have been in your entire life,” Ladimer said.

Ladimer worries that if experts and parents don’t listen to trans youth and give them the opportunity of choice, more suicides will occur.

“When they bring that to their parents and their therapists and their doctors saying, ‘I know who I am now and I want to pursue this path,’ that’s when we really need to listen, because a lot of the times those kids aren’t going to make it to 18 if that’s the choice they want to make,” she said.

There are so far more than 300 anti-LGBTQ+ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

“Legislators in a record 34 states introduced 147 anti-transgender bills in 2021, focusing on discriminatory anti-equality measures to drive a wedge between their constituents and score short-term political points. In 2021, legislators in twelve states enacted anti-LGBTQ+ bills despite failing to provide examples of what exactly they were legislating against.”