Idaho legislators seek to punish parents who send trans youth to other states to receive health care

The Idaho bill is one of the most restrictive of the 30 similar Republican-backed pieces of legislation this year. It could face legal challenges, according to experts.

Idaho legislators seek to punish parents who send trans youth to other states to receive health care

Tuesday's Idaho House of Representatives legislation made it a crime to punish a parent for seeking gender-affirming medical care for their transgender child.

This bill is one of 29 pieces of Republican-backed legislation nationwide that have been proposed this year for limiting health care for transgender teens. It coincides with many other bills to limit what can discuss gender identity and sexual orientation at schools, and to restrict transgender students in school sport.

However, LGBTQ advocates and legal professionals claim that the Idaho proposal is different because it criminalizes transgender children travelling to other states for certain medical procedures.

Sam Ames, director for advocacy at The Trevor Project (a non-profit organization that works to prevent suicide among the LGBTQ population), said, "We are starting to see the severity of these policies start to really rampup."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a directive. Greg Abbott, Texas governor, issued a directive to child welfare authorities last month asking them to conduct a prompt investigation into any reports of minors who are undergoing "elective processes for gender transitioning" as child abuse. Multiple investigations are currently underway into Texas families that have transgender children. Anyone convicted of child abuse could face decades in prison.

In Idaho, HB 675 would amend the state's statute prohibiting

Andrew Koppelman, Northwestern University law professor, stated that another section of the legislation stipulates that testosterone can only be given to males by a doctor. He said that this would be against federal prohibitions on discrimination based on gender.

Koppelman stated that the constitutionality of the bill was in doubt, despite the fact that it does not prohibit you from traveling out of state.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, Arkansas was the first state to pass a law banning gender-affirming medical treatment for trans youth last year. In response to an ACLU-backed lawsuit a federal court blocked the law's implementation. However, similar legislation was introduced by 19 states.

Alabama's state Senate approved last month a bill that would make Gender-affirming Medical Treatments for Youth a felony and punishable with up to 10 Years in Prison

According to the Human Rights Campaign, anti-LGBTQ legislation at the state level has increased in recent years. 17 bills were signed into law in 2021. This is more than any of the three previous years combined.

A recent survey by The Trevor Project found that 85 percent of transgender and nonbinary teens felt that debates over state laws restricting transgender rights negatively affected their mental health.

Ames of the Trevor Project stated that "This national political assault does not really concern trans youth." It's clear that this has become an important political wedge issue in a highly contested political climate. I believe that the fact that we are playing politics in young people's lives is a sign that we are dealing the worst type of politics that we know. It is the kind that takes a reasonable risk of casualties.


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