CV NEWS FEED // In early March 2023, CatholicVote reported on seven states that had banned so-called “gender-affirming care” for children under the age of 18. Now, just over a month later, that number has doubled and will likely continue to rise.
Here is a look at the seven new states that recently joined the ranks in banning these harmful procedures for minors.
On March 16, Florida’s ban on so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors went into effect. This ban was different from other states’ in that it came about not through a bill but by a vote by the Florida Board of Medicine in November of last year. Florida is the first state to enact such a ban through the executive rather than the legislative branch of its government. All the board members were appointed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has repeatedly taken action to combat gender ideology.
Although the vote by the medical board was enough to ban child “transgender” procedures in Florida, the Republican-supermajority-controlled state legislature still seeks to engrain the decision into state law. One bill was proposed in the state Senate and another in the state House, both of which would codify the ban. Various left-wing groups have filed suit in federal court to stop the ban, but it currently remains in effect.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds on March 22 signed into law a ban on so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors in Iowa. This law, which will fully take effect in September, banned chemical procedures such as puberty-blockers and hormones as well as so-called “gender reassignment” surgeries.
On March 23, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed S.B. 140 into law, banning most – but not all – “gender-affirming care” for minors in the state. The partial ban covers hormone replacement therapy as well as any surgery “performed for the purpose of altering primary or secondary sexual characteristics.” However, unlike other states on this list, Georgia still allows puberty-blockers.
Upon signing the bill, Kemp tweeted: “As Georgians, parents, and elected leaders, it is our highest responsibility to safeguard the bright, promising futures of our kids — and SB 140 takes an important step in fulfilling that mission.”
On March 29, Kentucky’s Republican supermajority legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto on S.B. 150, thus banning so-called “gender-affirming care” for children under the age of 18. The new law also bans classroom discussions about sexual orientation and “gender identity” for young children up to the fifth grade – going even further than Florida’s famous Parental Rights in Education law, which applies only up to the third grade. Furthermore, the Kentucky law ensures that schoolchildren only use bathroom facilities that correspond to their biological sex.
Kentucky’s Democratic Party called the package the “most extreme anti-LGBTQ bill in America.”
Also on March 29, Republican Gov. Jim Justice signed a bill banning all types of so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors, explicitly including surgeries, puberty-blockers, and hormone therapy. However, the new law is considerably weaker than those on the books in other states, as it carves out an exception for children who are deemed to have a risk of self-harm or suicide, allowing them to receive puberty-blockers and hormones, but not surgical procedures.
Under the law, which will take effect in January 2024, a patient can be prescribed puberty blockers and hormone therapy after receiving parental consent and a diagnosis of severe gender dysphoria from two doctors, including a mental health provider.
Justice, who in 2016 was originally elected as a Democrat before becoming a Republican less than a year later, has been floated as a potential 2024 candidate for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
On Tuesday, April 4, Republican Gov. Brad Little signed a bill that will make subjecting children to any so-called “gender-affirming” procedures a felony, effective January 2024.
Gov. Little struck a conciliatory tone when he signed the far-reaching bill into law, stating:
In signing this bill, I recognize our society plays a role in protecting minors from surgeries or treatments that can irreversibly damage their healthy bodies. However, as policymakers we should take great caution whenever we consider allowing the government to interfere with loving parents and their decisions about what is best for their children.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday, April 5, signed a bill banning all so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors. The law will go into effect in July, with a provision that allows children currently receiving puberty-blockers and other such chemical protocols to continue to do so until the end of this year.