APS Fellow/Author: Kristina R. Olson
In late March, the Arkansas State House and Senate voted to prohibit health care workers in the state from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender and other gender-diverse young people. While the decision was vetoed by the governor on April 5, the state legislature overrode that veto the next day. Meanwhile the Alabama State Senate approved a law in March to make it a felony for doctors to provide gender-affirming health care to transgender youth. And a bill proposed in North Carolina would outlaw gender-affirmative care for people younger than 21. Several other U.S. states are pursuing similar legislation, hot on the heels of a related decision in the U.K. that initially required a court order for transgender youth under age 16 to access this care (though that ruling has been partially reversed).
These laws are out of sync with the recommendations of the American Medical Association, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, who all agree that gender-affirmative treatments are an important option for transgender youth.
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