Utah lawmakers approve ban on transgender treatments

Utah lawmakers approve ban on transgender treatments

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers on Friday gave final approval for a measure that would ban most transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming health care like surgery or puberty blockers.

The bill now goes to the desk of Republican Gov. Spencer Cox, who hasn’t yet publicly taken a position on the legislation.

It comes as legislators in at least 18 states consider similar bills targeting health care for young transgender people. Montana lawmakers discussed a measure there Friday.

The bills have drawn strong opposition from critics who say it is irresponsible to meddle in important decisions that should be left to parents and their children.

Utah’s measure prohibits transgender surgery for youth and disallows hormone treatments for minors who have not yet been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. The state’s Legislature made the topic a top priority, hearing the first draft just two days after the session started earlier this month.

Supporters in Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature argued that the measure is necessary because of the life-altering impacts of the treatments. They have also questioned if there’s enough scientific study about such treatments.

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