Idaho Republicans Move To Ban Transitional Surgeries for Minors
Two Idaho legislators will introduce called the "Vulnerable Child Protection Act". The move by Representative Bruce Skaug (R-Nampa) and Senator Lori Den Hartog (R-Meridian), bans puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries for children struggling with gender dysphoria.
The Vulnerable Child Protection Act has passed the Idaho House Judiciary and Rules Committee. The bill, HB71, will now be voted on by the full House. If approved, it will move on to the senate.
Utah and several other states passed similar legislation last week and last year. Representative Skaug authored a bill last year that passed the House but was denied by the Republican-dominated state senate.
Did the move by Utah influence Idaho's movement? As we've reported here, Utah is not alone in moving to limit transitional surgeries. Utah is not alone in banning trans surgeries. The Hill said 20 bills addressing transgender surgeries in nine states in 2023. Several states have pre-filed measures this year, including Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
A look At Utah Passing The Tran Ban
The Idaho move was announced by the Idaho Family Policy Center, a pro-family Christian ministry.
Blaine Conzatti, President of Idaho Family Policy Center, said in a release:
“We're thrilled to see legislation introduced to protect vulnerable children from so-called 'treatments' that wreak havoc on their developing bodies.
"These medically unnecessary interventions leave children with irreversible infertility, chronic health problems, and mutilated reproductive organs. Doctors who administer these life-altering drugs and perform these disfiguring surgeries violate the Hippocratic Oath to 'do no harm.'
"Children who struggle with gender dysphoria need help, not pharmaceutical and surgical interventions that set them up for lifelong medical problems."
Will This Bill Get Past The Senate Idaho Senate?
Last year, the conservative Idaho House passed HB675, making it a felony for doctors and other medical professionals to provide transitional surgeries in Idaho. The Republican-led Senate defeated the bill, saying parents should determine whether or not their boy wants to become a girl as a minor.
The Idaho Senate is a different animal than it was last year. The election turnover has transformed the Senate into a more conservative body. If the bill passes both the House and the Senate, it will force Governor Little to make a move that some say he'd like to avoid. Signing the bill will be a victory for Conservatives, but if he vetoes the bill, there could be enough votes in the new Senate to override his veto.
Last year, the governor came dangerously close to having a veto overturned. He prevailed thanks to last-minute campaigning by himself and former governors. Currently, transitional surgery for minors is legal in Idaho.
The Idaho Capital Sun reported that Representative Skaug explained the reason for this bill. “There are a small number of children who suffer genuinely from gender dysphoria,” Skaug told the committee. “… That’s a genuine mental issue that needs to be dealt with, and should still be dealt with, but not by cutting off healthy body parts.”
You can read the entire bill here.
We'll continue to update you on this story as it develops.