Thousands of Trans Kids Are at Risk of Losing Their Healthcare - DMT NEWS

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Thousands of Trans Kids Are at Risk of Losing Their Healthcare

More than 58,000 transgender youth and young adults are at risk of losing gender-affirming healthcare as a result of proposed and enacted bans in more than a dozen states, according to a new UCLA study

Of the estimated more than 150,000 transgender youth between the ages of 13 and 17 in the U.S., more than 10,000 live in Texas and Arkansas, states that have already enacted such laws and regulations. Another approximately 43,000 live in states that are considering following suit, according to UCLA Law School’s Williams Institute. Lawmakers in three of those states are considering bills that would prohibit gender-affirming care for young adults as old as 20. 

In Texas alone, where last month Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate the families of transgender youth for child abuse, as many as 23,700 youth are at risk of losing gender-affirming care, the study suggested. 

“A growing body of research shows that gender-affirming care improves mental health and overall well-being of transgender people, including youth,” Kerith J. Conron, the lead author of the study and research director at the Williams Institute, said in a release.

“Efforts that support transgender youth in living according to their gender identity are associated with better mental health.”

The policies in both Texas and Arkansas are currently tied up in the courts. A Texas appellate court reinstated an injunction preventing Aboott’s order from being enforced Monday, while a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against the new Arkansas law last July, before it could be implemented.

But more than a dozen other states have introduced legislation that would similarly limit gender-affirming healthcare for minors in various ways, such as criminalizing medical providers and families helping transgender youth access that care, or barring the healthcare from being covered by health insurance or accessed with state funds. The bills often target procedures such as genital surgery, though current professional guidelines such as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s Standards of Care prohibit performing such surgeries on people under the age of 18. 

In Idaho, for example, a bill passed the House this month that would have charged parents and providers with a felony, punishable by up to life in prison, for helping a transgender minor to receive gender-affirming care. 

But the GOP leadership of the Idaho State Senate released a statement last week opposing the bill, rendering it effectively dead for now. The bill quoted the Idaho Medical Association, which reiterated that gender-affirmation surgery for minors is “already outside the generally accepted standard of care and is not being done by physicians in Idaho.”

“HB 675 undermines parental rights and allows the government to interfere in parents' medical decision-making authority for their children,” wrote the GOP leadership. “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.”

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via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Paul Blest, Khareem Sudlow