Almost 23% of trans youth in the United States have lost access to gender-affirming care.
A new report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that of the 300,000 trans youth ages 13 through 17, there are 66,600 living in states that have passed bans on this lifesaving care. And 84,700 more trans youth (28.2%) live in states that are currently considering bans.
According to the Movement Advancement Project, there are currently eight states that fully ban gender-affirming care for minors, along with one state (Arizona) that bans “best practice surgical care” for trans youth.
In the first few months of 2023, alone, gender-affirming care bans have become law in Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, Arkansas, Iowa, and Utah, in addition to five other anti-trans bills.
Over the past few years, Republicans have focused their agenda on attacking equality for transgender youth, with a particularly chilling new Tennessee law requiring youth who have already started gender-affirming care to de-transition. Other states, like Oklahoma and Florida, are considering similar legislation.
These laws go against the best practices of trans-related pediatrics outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association. Numerous studies have shown that a lack of societal acceptance and access to gender-affirming care contribute to high rates of suicide among trans youth. And other studies have found that gender-affirming care actively lowers the risk of depression and suicide in trans youth.
And it’s more than just trans youth being targeted.
Over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have already been filed this year – more than the total number filed in 2022. The American Civil Liberties Union tracks these hateful bills with a map that allows viewers to search by state, issue, or status. It says 14 have become law, 332 have advanced, 64 have been defeated, and 19 have been introduced.