On Tuesday, the Idaho House passed legislation that would make it a felony for parents to seek gender-affirming care for trans minors, punishable with life in prison.
House Bill 675 stipulates that anyone who seeks to provide gender-affirming care for minors under the age of 18, including genital surgeries and hormone blockers, “for the purposes of attempting to change or affirm the child’s perception of the child’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s biological sex” could face life in prison is convicted. The legislation applies to any parent or guardian who takes their child outside of the state to receive such care.
The legislation makes exceptions for cases where such procedures might be necessary for a person’s safety, such as genital procedures following a difficult labor, or in cases where a child is born with ambiguous sex characteristics.
The Republican-sponsored bill passed in the Republican-controlled House by a vote of 55 for to 13 against. Newsweek reports that one Republican, Dr. Fred Wood, who is the chamber’s only physician, voted against the bill along with 12 Democrats.
In a statement made after the vote, Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley called passage of the legislation “disappointing,” adding that, “Every kid in Idaho deserves the chance to grow up feeling safe and respected for who they are. Denying someone medically-necessary health care simply because you don’t approve of who they are is textbook discrimination.”
She added that decisions with regards to medical care “should be left up to the young person and their parents, in consultation with health care professionals, not by politicians looking to score political points at the expense of the well-being of transgender youth.”
The legislation will now go to the Senate for further consideration before a vote in the chamber.