The Commonwealth of Kentucky has recently passed a prohibition on the provision of gender-affirming care to minors, with the potential to affect transgender youth in the state significantly. The bill, which was approved by both chambers of the state’s legislature, is set to become law in July 2021.
The legislation is seen by many as a major setback to the progress made on LGBTQ rights in the United States. It prohibits medical providers from providing gender-affirming medical treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgery, to those under the age of 18. The bill also bans the use of puberty blockers and prohibits medical providers from discussing gender-affirming care with minors.
The passage of this bill has been met with intense criticism from LGBTQ rights advocates, who argue that it severely limits the treatment options available to transgender youth. According to the Human Rights Campaign, the ban will “result in serious, long-term harm to transgender and non-binary youth and families.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics also opposes the bill, stating that it will “put vulnerable children at risk” and “prevent them from receiving the care they need.”
The bill’s proponents argue that it is necessary to protect young people from “experimental treatments” that they may not understand or be able to consent to. They also argue that it is important to protect the “well-being and safety” of young people, who may be pressured into making irreversible decisions about their gender identity.
The passage of this bill, however, may have a chilling effect on access to health care for transgender youth. It remains to be seen how it will be implemented and the impact it will have on the lives of transgender youth in Kentucky.