Source: Public News Service
As North Carolina Republicans continue to target trans youth with hateful, unnecessary legislation, doctors and advocates are continuing to push back against the attacks.
Earlier this month, the House rules committee approved House Bill 808. The bill, known as the Youth Health Protection Act, would ban teens from accessing life-saving gender-affirming care and would also block the use of state funds for any gender transition-related medical care. House Bill 808, which some parents of trans children said could very well lead to the death of their child, was even worse when it was first introduced. Originally, HB 808 would have completely banned all gender-affirming care, no matter the person’s age, in the state.
According to Public News Service, Kendra R. Johnson, executive director of Equality North Carolina, said HB 808 ignores the recommendations of health professionals and doesn’t allow people to make their own personal choices.
“You go to professionals every day because you trust that they study, they understand market standards,” Johnson said. “The legislature, which does not have a significant number of medical professionals, is overstepping the bounds of what they should be covering.”
Supporters of the legislation claim that it’s needed in order to prevent children from making decisions about their bodies that they can’t change back, but nearly 500 doctors and mental health providers have signed a letter objecting to the ban, Public News Service reported.
The letter highlights the fact that health care providers are committed to keeping an informed relationship between themselves and their patients when it comes to life-saving gender-affirming care.
Johnson told Public News Service that not only does HB 808 get rid of critical care for trans youth, but the bill also exacerbates an already challenging situation for them.
“Trans folks already face a lot of discrimination in health care, even when they are seeking care for, say, a broken bone, diabetes,” Johnson noted. “We have a lot of refusal to provide care for basic health care coverage.”
According to a study by the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, gender-affirming care is under attack in 30 states, which puts around 150,000 transgender children at risk of losing their access to care.