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IDAHO LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE SENDS BILL CRIMINALIZING MEDICALLY NECESSARY CARE FOR TRANSGENDER YOUTH

Updated: Mar 21

The blanket healthcare ban is opposed by parents, major medical associations and civil rights advocates


BOISE - Today the Idaho House State Affairs Committee sent House Bill 675, a bill that would criminalize medical professionals who provide treatment and care for transgender youth, to the Idaho House of Representatives with a “do pass” recommendation. The Idaho House of Representatives will now vote on the legislation introduced by Rep. Bruce Skaug.


"As a mom, nothing is more important to me than protecting my three children,” said Danielle Horras, Idaho parent of three children, including a fourteen-year-old daughter who is transgender. “That's why I’m working with my daughter’s doctors to give her the tools and the resources she needs to thrive. I can’t understand why some politicians want to take that support away from my family. As parents, we make the best choices for and with our children, using the best information available. That’s exactly what I’m doing by supporting my transgender daughter.”


Necessary medical care for trans youth is in accordance with prevailing standards of care and research shows that transgender youth who have supportive families and communities, and access to affirming medical and mental health care, have significantly more positive health outcomes than those who lack that support and care. Unfortunately, proponents of this bill did not appear to be swayed by the heart-felt testimony of Idaho residents and information presented by Idaho medical professionals who work closely on this issue, and instead repeated fear-based narratives and debunked medical information.


Every major medical association–including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics - opposes these bills. That’s because blanket bans like this one are not grounded in evidence-based clinical guidelines. They disrupt medically necessary care and result in negative health outcomes for youth, including anxiety, depression and suicidality.


“Bills like HB 675 are being pushed across the country by well-funded, national, anti-trans groups to mobilize their political base,” said ACLU’s Deputy Director for Transgender Justice Chase Strangio “These bills do nothing to invest and protect Idaho youth and families and Idahoans deserve better. Arkansas is the only state who has passed a bill like this, and we immediately had it enjoined in federal court. Last week the Governor of Texas told trans youth that he considered their health care to be a form of child abuse, and a state court has already issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the state from harming the plaintiffs in the suit. Criminalizing health care for transgender adolescents is counter to science, medicine, and ethics and we stand ready to fight any attack on transgender youth and their families.”


“HB 675 amounts to severe government overreach into the medical decision-making rights of Idaho parents,'' said ACLU of Idaho policy strategist Lauren Bramwell. All young people and their families across the state deserve the right to access medical care and grow up to be happy and healthy adults. The ACLU of Idaho and a strong coalition of partner organizations across the state are committed to ensuring that right is not taken away.”

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