Utah has officially banned sex-change surgeries and transgender treatments for children across the state.
On Saturday, Utah’s Republican Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill that will ban minors from being put through the so-called “gender-affirming” treatments.
The bill, dubbed SB0016, was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Michael Kennedy in December.
Kennedy argues that current transgender procedures “lack sufficient research,” KUER reported.
He blasted the nationwide push for children to undergo sex-change surgery as “radical and dangerous.”
SB0016 will prohibit healthcare providers from administering “a hormonal transgender treatment to new patients who were not diagnosed with gender dysphoria before a certain date.”
It will also prohibit doctors from “performing sex-characteristic surgical procedures on a minor for the purpose of effectuating a sex change.”
The new law now requires the Utah Department of Health and Human Services must “conduct a systematic review of the medical evidence regarding hormonal transgender treatments and provide recommendations to the Legislature.”
Today we signed SB 16, Transgender Medical Treatment and Procedures. pic.twitter.com/ER9UXsWewD
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) January 28, 2023
The bill was hotly contested within the Utah Legislature, most notably by Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher.
Thatcher argues that the legislation would ban potentially life-saving care from transgender youth, KUER reported.
He cites an American Academy of Pediatrics study on transgender suicide rates.
“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, according to 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 child sex-change treatments.
“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation,” Cox stated.
“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.”
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