If you want evidence-based care for children suffering from gender dysphoria, go to Utah.
Utah just passed a law to ban surgery or hormone treatment for youth who want to change their gender. After Gov. Spencer Cox signed the bill, which went into effect immediately, he said that “we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures.”
This is the same governor who vetoed a bill to protect girls’ sports last spring, but at least this time, he’s on the right track.
“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,” Cox said in a statement.
In other words, Utah is practicing what liberals preach: Follow the science. Because the push by organizations such as the American Medical Association and the ACLU to allow minors to permanently alter their bodies is so new, there is not a substantial body of research on the subject. And claims that “gender-affirming care” is good for children’s mental health have been found to misrepresent the data.
Utah is so convinced that it’s in the right, in fact, that it’s willing to be wrong. According to Forbes, “The law charges several state health organizations with researching the long-term effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy on minors, the findings of which will determine if the ban on hormone treatments can be lifted.”
The new law also offers recourse for minors and their families who have been harmed by radical gender ideology. As Forbes notes, “Minors who were harmed by hormone treatments are now allowed to disaffirm consent and sue physicians until they are 25 years old.”
Of course, because the law pushes back against the transgender craze that’s suddenly in vogue, it has already received plenty of pushback. The ACLU of Utah tweeted, “Trans kids are kids—they deserve to grow up without constant political attacks on their lives and health care; we will defend that right.”
This sentiment is deeply ironic considering the legislation in Utah—and similar laws passed in states such as Tennessee, Florida, and Arizona—is actually shielding children from the political winds and supporting genuine healthcare. There is simply not enough evidence to justify unequivocally accepting a child’s gender self-identification, and yet that’s exactly what other states are doing.
It may not be popular among progressive organizations or even the increasingly woke medical establishment, but laws such as that in Utah don’t politicize children. They just let kids be kids.