Utah Bans Hormone Therapy And Gender Surgeries For Minors

[Screenshot/YouTube/Gov. Spencer jJ. Cox]

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Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill Saturday that will ban gender affirming treatment and surgery for minors identifying as transgender in the state.

The bill, dubbed SB0016, was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Michael Kennedy in December who argued that current gender-affirming procedures “lack sufficient research” calling the nationwide push to enter this version of healthcare “radical and dangerous,” KUER reported.

SB0016 will prohibit health care providers from administering “a hormonal transgender treatment to new patients who were not diagnosed with gender dysphoria before a certain date,” it will prohibit doctors from “performing sex characteristic surgical procedures on a minor for the purpose of effectuating a sex change,”and it requires the Utah Department of Health and Human Services to “conduct a systematic review of the medical evidence regarding hormonal transgender treatments and provide recommendations to the Legislature.”

The bill was hotly contested within the Utah Legislature, most notably by Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher who argued that the legislation would ban potentially life-saving care from transgender youth, citing an American Academy of Pediatrics study on transgender suicide rates, KUER reported. (RELATED: Florida Votes To Ban Sex Change Procedures For Minors After Volatile Testimony)

We might not understand [gender-affirming health care], we might not like it, but every credible medical organization on the planet says that that is the safest, best and most appropriate care to save those lives,” Thatcher stated per the outlet.

While Cox conceded that the bill was not perfect, he assured constituents, particularly those affected by the bill, that the Legislature would continue to review the science behind and the consequences of gender-affirming treatment.

“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation. While not a perfect bill, we are grateful for Sen. Kennedy’s more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this terribly divisive issue. More and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences,” Cox stated.