Orem lawmaker drafting bill to ban hormone therapy, surgery for transgender minors

This article originally appeared in the Daily Herald. Read it in its entirety here.

State Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, is working on a bill that would limit the ability of transgender youth in Utah to make certain medical decisions related to their gender identity.

The bill, which Daw said is still in the “concept phase,” would ban doctors and physicians in the state from providing hormone therapy or performing sex reassignment surgery on anyone under 18 years old.

“We don’t want to be doing irreversible procedures on minors,” Daw said. “Let them be 18 before making a decision that they can’t possibly take back.”

The representative said his bill would likely still allow for youth to be given puberty blockers, which suppress the release of sex hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Civil rights and LGBTQ+ activists say the bill would be harmful to transgender youth in the state and could increase rates of anxiety, depression and suicide among transgender and gender non-conforming Utahns.

Katie Matheson, communications director of Alliance for a Better Utah, called the bill “yet another example of politicians unnecessarily inserting themselves into the patient-family-doctor relationship.”

“It’s absurd that Rep. Daw is effectively pushing the agenda of an un-elected activist, Gail Ruzicka, rather than listening to the people of Utah who are going to be impacted by this bill who are telling him that this will result in suicides,” said Matheson.

This article originally appeared in the Daily Herald. Read it in its entirety here.

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