State lawmakers aim to block doctors from giving treatment, surgery to transgender people under 21

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Senate lawmakers introduced a bill this week that seeks to block doctors from giving treatment and gender-confirming surgery to those under 21 years old.

Senate Bill 514, also known as the Youth Health Protection Act, would prohibit doctors from performing procedures like mastectomies, removing healthy body parts, or giving certain hormone treatments.

The bill states that the sex of a person can no be changed. It argues that studies have shown the majority of children who experience discordance between their sex and identity will eventually outgrow it.

Additionally, the measure would require state employees, like teachers and social workers to report gender nonconformity to a minor’s parents.

“That’s dangerous, it means youth have nowhere safe to go. They have no one safe to turn to,” said Jennifer Ruppe, executive director of the Guilford Green Foundation in Greensboro.

Ruppe worries about the timing of the bill, and said she’s been fielding concerns.

“People are afraid, they’re scared, they feel invalidated they feel like they aren’t treated like humans but what scares me the most is the people we don’t hear from we don’t hear from youth who commit suicide, and that is not an abstract concept,” she said.

The co-owner of Kalo’s Comprehensive Care, which provides care to transgender children and adults urges doctors to continue practicing, regardless of the bill’s future.

“The thing I want people to understand about this bill, it’s civil, not criminal just like HB2 so I would encourage any practitioner to keep practicing I don’t think there is any board out there who would fine or remove your license,” Shana Gordon said.

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