Idaho Begins Enforcing Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

The Supreme Court allows Idaho to enforce a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, leaving parents desperate as their children lose access to vital treatment. This conservative shift raises concerns about access to care, especially for low-income families.

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Idaho Begins Enforcing Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Idaho Begins Enforcing Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for minors, subjecting physicians to up to 10 years in prison if they provide such care to people under 18. This decision has left parents of transgender children, like Joe Horras, desperate to find solutions as their children have lost access to the care they were receiving.

The ruling will hold while lawsuits against the law proceed through the lower courts, although the two transgender teens who sued to challenge the law will still be able to obtain care. At least 24 states have adopted similar bans, and most face legal challenges.

Why this matters: The decision reflects a conservative shift in the nation's highest legal body over the past decade. It has left many families, particularly those with lower incomes, concerned about their ability to access gender-affirming care for their transgender children.

Rights groups in Idaho are supporting families to ensure they are aware of the measure and its implications. The ACLU of Idaho plans to hold a virtual event to help people process the shock and answer questions.

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador defended the law, stating that the state has a duty to protect and support all children, and that those suffering from gender dysphoria deserve care rooted in biological reality. The law, signed into law in April 2023, makes it a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison for doctors to provide surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormones to transgender people under 18.

The broader issue of bans on gender-affirming care for minors could eventually be before the U.S. Supreme Court again, as similar laws in other states have faced legal challenges. While supporters of the bans say they want to protect children, major medical organizations support gender-affirming care for youth.

Key Takeaways

  • Supreme Court allows Idaho to enforce ban on gender-affirming care for minors.
  • Doctors face up to 10 years in prison for providing such care to under-18s.
  • At least 24 states have adopted similar bans, facing legal challenges.
  • Idaho AG defends law, saying state must protect children's "biological reality".
  • Broader issue may reach Supreme Court again as similar laws face challenges.