An Idaho bill criminalizing the use of hormones, puberty blockers, and surgery on the genitals of children for transgender purposes has passed the House and Senate and is headed to the desk of the Governor.
House Bill 71, which was introduced in February by Representative Bruce Skaug (R-District 12) and multiple co-sponsors, contains language that proponents argue will protect Idaho children from irreversible alterations to their developing bodies. Opponents of the legislation say if this becomes law, Idaho would be denying children life-saving “gender-affirming” care.
The week the bill was introduced, a young lady named Chloe Cole visited Idaho and spoke to two Treasure Valley crowds, both of which included legislators, sharing her personal story and experience with these methods of addressing what is called “gender dysphoria.” Idaho Dispatch covered those events and spoke to Cole.
The bill sponsors and co-sponsors can be found here. The statement of purpose they wrote to accompany the bill says,
“The Vulnerable Child Protective Act would amend the existing state ban on female genital mutilation to also include puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries when administered to children struggling with gender dysphoria. Like FGM, these medical interventions are almost always irreversible; some render the patient sterile or with lifelong sexual dysfunction, while others unnecessarily mutilate healthy body organs.”Advertisement
The bill passed the House of Representatives on a 58-12 vote on February 14. It was then amended by the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, and the amended version was debated yesterday by the full Senate.
During the debate, Senator Chris Trakel (R-District 11) read an excerpt from the American College of Pediatricians.
” ‘Transgender interventions harm children. [There is] no evidence that transgender interventions are safe for children.’Advertisement
“In talking about these hormones they use, ‘Temporary use of the puberty blocker Lupron has also been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment, and when combined with cross-sex hormones – what we are talking about here – sterility. In addition to the harm from Lupron, cross-sex hormones put youth at an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots, and cancers across their life span.’ “
Trakel finished his debate in favor of the bill by saying,
“We are not talking about removing the decision away from people. We are talking about removing the decision away from children.”
In a joint statement put out yesterday by three groups: Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Legal Voice (Toward Justice and Gender Liberation), and Add The Words, Bill Mitchell, the Idaho Policy Counsel and Lobbyist for Legal Voice said,
“Today’s vote by the Idaho Senate is an unfortunate example of bad legislation getting in the way of good medicine. Parents are now faced with the impossible task of explaining to their children why Idaho is taking away life-saving care.”
The amended bill passed the Senate yesterday with a 22-12-1 vote after a long debate. The nay votes came from all seven democrats combined with Republicans Treg Bernt (D21), Abby Lee (D9), Linda Hartgen (D24), Geoff Schroeder (D8), and Julie Van Orden (D30).
After additional debate today in the House, the Senate amendments were approved and H71aaS passed 56-13-1.
The bill is now headed to Governor Brad Little’s desk for a possible signature to become law in Idaho.
This is the amended version of the bill. If it is signed, any person convicted of violating this law would be guilty of a felony with the penalty being up to 10 years in state prison.H0071E1
Tags: Chloe Cole, Gender Dysphoria, Genital Mutilation, House Bill 71, Puberty Blockers, Senator Chris Trakel, Sex reassignment, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, St. Luke's Hospital, St. Lukes Essence Clinic, Transgender, Vulnerable Child Protective Act