Utah Bans Health Care for Transgender Youth

January 29, 2023 3:00 pm

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SALT LAKE CITY – Ignoring the warnings of medical organizations, civil rights activists, transgender youth, and their families, Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed into law a measure banning gender-affirming health care for transgender people under the age of 18. Similar laws passed in Arkansas and Alabama are currently enjoined by federal courts.

“This is a devastating and dangerous violation of the rights and privacy of transgender Utahns, their families, and their medical providers,” said Chase Strangio, Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “Claims of protecting our most vulnerable with these laws ring hollow when lawmakers have trans children’s greatest protectors – their parents, providers, and the youth themselves – pleading in front of them not to cut them off from their care. I want transgender youth in Utah to know this fight is not over, and we won’t stop defending your autonomy and freedom until each and every one of you can access the care you need.”

The ACLU of Utah called on Gov. Cox to veto SB 16, citing the myriad constitutional violations and medical risks posed by the law. “This law effectively bans access to life-saving medical care for transgender youth in Utah,” said Brittney Nystrom, Executive Director of the ACLU of Utah. “It undermines the health and well-being of adolescents, limits the options of doctors, patients, and parents, and violates the constitutional rights of these families.”

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