The Idaho House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday that would send the loving parents of transgender children to prison for life.
The crime? Providing the kids with the appropriate medical care.
The bill would ban puberty-blocking treatment, hormone therapy, and gender confirmation surgery and make it a felony if parents or doctors provide it. But it would also make it a felony to take your child out of state to get the healthcare recommended by every major medical authority in the country. The sentence would be life in prison and the removal of the children from the home.
The law also stipulates that the hormone testosterone can only be provided to people who were born male. It’s commonly used to treat sexual dysfunction in older men – like the legislators voting for the bill.
Surgical transitions aren’t performed on children. But GOP-led legislatures around the country have used the claim to spark fear and misinform voters into supporting anti-transgender laws and to win elections. The move is similar to the GOP claims that critical race theory, an advanced subject taught in law schools about racism in the legal system, is taught in elementary schools.
“If we do not allow minors to get tattoos, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol or sign legal contracts,” the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Bruce Skaug (R), said, “why would we allow them to make decisions to cut away organs based on their feelings during puberty time?”
At no point are middle school students allowed to make their own medical decisions.
The measure sailed through the chamber on a vote of 55-13. The state Senate is also dominated by Republicans.
On March 2, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance stating that the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or Obamacare) forbids states from restricting medical care based on a person’s gender identity or sex assigned at birth.
The guidance also said that health care providers don’t need to share private information about patients who receive gender-affirming care.
The guidance was specifically issued by HHS in response to a directive issued last month by Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott. Abbott ordered the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to conduct “child abuse” investigations against parents who provide gender-affirming medical care to their trans kids.
Abbott’s directive requires medical and health care professionals to tell DFPS about any parents who try to access such care for their trans children. Health care professionals say the directive requires them to harm their patients and violate their confidentiality to the state.