© 2022 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Doctors who provide gender-affirming care are preparing for growing restrictions

A report found that about a third of transgender youth between the ages of 13 through 17 are at risk of losing access to care that helps them transition.
A report found that about a third of transgender youth between the ages of 13 through 17 are at risk of losing access to care that helps them transition.

More than a dozen states have drafted or voted on restrictions to critical healthcare for trans youth.

The latest state to pass a ban on gender-affirming care for minors is Alabama. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill last week that will take effect in May, barring any legal challenges.Here is Governor Ivey’s statement on why she signed Senate Bill 184:

There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl. We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life. Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.

This sweeping legislation has garnered a response from the White House and Justice Department.

About 150,000 American kids identify as transgender and about a third of that population is at risk of losing access to this critical healthcare, according to a report from the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law. 

But it’s not just trans youth that are being targeted. The livelihoods of doctors and pediatricians who provide this care are at stake too.

Under Alabama’s new law, doctors who prescribe or medically assist someone under 18 years old in their gender transition can be charged with a felony. And across the country doctors in this field are being harassed and threatened.  

We speak to three doctors about what gender-affirming care is and the toll this legislation is taking on their patients and professions. 

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5