West Virginia governor signs ban on gender-affirming care
Under the law, which will come into effect in January 2024, a patient can be prescribed puberty blockers and hormone therapy after receiving parental consent and a diagnosis of severe gender dysphoria from two doctors, including one mental health provider.
Gender dysphoria is defined by medical professionals as severe psychological distress experienced by those whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.
Lawmakers in West Virginia and other states considering banning transgender health care for youth and young adults often characterize gender-affirming treatments as medically unproven, potentially dangerous in the long term, and a symptom of gender. “woke” culture.
All major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and American Psychiatric Association, support gender-affirming care for young people.
A 2017 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law estimated that West Virginia has the highest per capita rate of young transgender people in the country.
The rate of suicidal ideation, or having suicidal thoughts or thoughts, among transgender youth in West Virginia is three times higher than the rate for all young people in the state, according to survey data. on the risk behaviors of West Virginia youth.
At least 11 states have now enacted laws restricting or prohibiting gender-affirming care for minors: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota and West Virginia. Federal judges have blocked enforcement in Alabama and Arkansas, and nearly two dozen states are considering bills to restrict or ban care this year.