Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) signed a bill criminalizing gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth on Tuesday evening.
Idaho is at least the 12th state to enact a law restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors. Nearly two dozen more are considering following suit.
The law will go into effect in January, making it a felony to provide hormones, puberty blockers, or other gender-affirming care to people under the age of 18.
Opponents of the bill say it will likely increase suicide rates among teens. Proponents say it is necessary to “protect children” from medical or surgical treatments for gender dysphoria. Supporters of the legislation acknowledge there has been no sign of gender-affirming surgeries are being performed on transgender youth in the state.
“In signing this bill, I recognize our society plays a role in protecting minors from surgeries or treatments that can irreversibly damage their healthy bodies. However, as policymakers we should take great caution whenever we consider allowing the government to interfere with loving parents and their decisions about what is best for their children,” Gov. Little said.
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