Utah became the first state in 2023 to ban transitional surgeries for minors and kids last week. Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed SB16, which was passed by the state legislature. Last year, several states considered passing a ban prohibiting surgeries and drugs that block puberty.

The governor's move will impact the west and the rest of the country. Oklahoma banned transitional surgeries for those under 26. Townhall provided the details on what happens to doctors who violate the new law.

If caught, healthcare providers will be punished by an unclassified felony conviction and the revocation of their medical license for “unprofessional conduct.”

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The Utah branch of the ACLU fired off their response to the new law.

The move by Governor Cox conflicts with his earlier decision to veto a bill that would ban trans athletes from competing with biological females. Perhaps the legislature overrode his veto and compelled him to sign this legislation.

Governor Cox issued the following statement on his decision.

“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation. While not a perfect bill, we are grateful for Sen. Kennedy’s more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this terribly divisive issue. More and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.
“We will continue to push the Legislature for additional resources to organizations that work to help this important Utah community. While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures.”

Utah is not alone in banning trans surgeries. The Hill reported 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. 

What About Idaho?

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.

Sources tell us that the House will once again introduce a new bill. Will the new Senate pass the legislation and force Governor Little to follow Governor Cox's example?

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