An Idaho bill that would have criminalized a parent’s decision to allow their transgender child to receive gender-affirming medical treatment has died at the hands of the state Senate’s Republican conference after a national outcry.
In a statement late Tuesday, Idaho Senate Republicans said they oppose gender reassignment surgery for minors but that the bill interferes with a parent’s right to make medical decisions for their own children.
“We believe in parents’ rights and that the best decisions regarding medical treatment options for children are made by parents, with the benefit of their physician’s advice and expertise,” the senators said in a statement.
Idaho became the second state hoping to criminalize transgender procedures after its House of Representatives passed a bill that would criminalize gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender youth, including vasectomy, hysterectomy, mastectomy, puberty-blocking medication and supraphysiological doses of testosterone or estrogen, and make it a felony punishable by life imprisonment for anyone who helps a child travel across state lines to gender-affirming healthcare, reports The Guardian.
A law passed by Texas legislators has been temporarily blocked by an Austin court after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Lambda Legal on behalf of the parents of a transgender teenager who was being investigated for abuse by the Department of Family and Protective Services.
Meanwhile, the Davis Vanguard reports that a bipartisan group of 93 criminal justice leaders from around the nation filed an amicus brief in the 353rd District Court of Texas in Jane Doe v. Greg Abbott, supporting efforts to block the State of Texas’s own recent efforts, which many consider the catalyst for the attempted passage of similar bills like those in Idaho and Florida, to prosecute parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children. The signatories argue that Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s directive to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) will result in grave harm to already vulnerable young people.
Idaho’s house of representatives has passed a bill that would criminalize gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender youth, including vasectomy, hysterectomy,
State representative Bruce Skaug, the Idaho bill’s lead sponsor, said that the bill was “about protecting children,” comparing gender-affirming treatments to minors drinking alcohol and getting tattoos.
Civil rights and LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns condemned the proposed bill. “Bills like HB 675 are being pushed across the country by well-funded, national, anti-trans groups to mobilize their political base,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said.
“These bills do nothing to invest and protect Idaho youth and families and Idahoans deserve better.”
According to a 2019 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 2 percent of high school students identified as trans, and 35 percent had attempted suicide in the previous year. The bill will now move on to the state’s Republican-controlled senate. If approved, the Republican governor, Brad Little, could either sign it into law or veto it.