Iowa has joined a growing list of states that have banned sex change treatments for children after Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new bill restricting the practice into law Wednesday.
The bill, SF538, says that a healthcare professional in the state of Iowa “shall not knowingly engage in or cause any” treatments “for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of, or affirm the minor’s perception of, the minor’s gender or sex, if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex [at birth].” (RELATED: Utah Bans Hormone Therapy And Gender Surgeries For Minors)
Further, the bill restricts the practice of removing any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue as well as bans the administration of hormone-blockers to delay puberty.
BREAKING: Transgender students won’t be allowed to use a public school restroom in Iowa that aligns with their gender identity, nor will they be allowed gender-affirming care under bills that Gov.Reynolds signed into law on Wednesday. https://t.co/c2QE7aHBtf
— KCRG-TV9 (@KCRG) March 22, 2023
“Children should not be pushed to receive experimental medical treatments that can leave them permanently sterile and physically marred for life,” Republican state Sen. Jeff Edler said, according to The Des Moines Register. “Iowa has a duty to protect its citizens, especially our children.” (RELATED: Tennessee Legislature Passes Ban On Child Sex Changes)
Iowa Democrats decried the bill, claiming that its passage denied parents the choice to do what they felt was best for their children. “I was under the impression that this session was going to be all about parents rights,” Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Konfrst stated during the bill’s debate, according to CNN. “So I guess the way I’m going to read this bill is that parents know best until the government does.”
Reynolds argued the science “isn’t conclusive” to support life-altering treatments for children. “These [treatments] are irreversible. We don’t even understand the long-term effects,” Reynolds said, according to KCRG.
“I’m a parent. I’m a grandmother. I know how difficult this is. This is an extremely uncomfortable position for me to be in. You know, I don’t like it, but I have to do what I believe is right now is in the best interest of the kids,” she continued.
Reynolds also signed SF482, dubbed the Bathroom Bill, into law which prevents transgender students from using public school bathrooms that do not match their assigned gender at birth, the outlet stated.