Monday, December 5, 2022
NPR published an article covering how Bills targeting trans youth are growing more common -- and radically reshaping lives.
An NPR analysis of this fast-changing landscape found that over the past two years, state lawmakers introduced at least 306 bills targeting trans people, more than in any previous period. A majority of this legislation, 86%, focuses on trans youth.
While not every proposal has succeeded — about 15% of the bills have become law — the surge of legislative activity reflects what many advocates see as an increasingly hostile environment for LGBTQ rights in statehouses across the country and even some corners of Congress.
Some of the new laws have been temporarily blocked by the courts. But legal challenges have done little to slow the pace of new proposals, according to Katie Eyer, a professor at Rutgers Law School. It's an echo, she says, of the period after Brown v. Board of Education, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down segregation in schools, but many states kept trying to pass laws to obstruct the ruling.
In four states — Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona and Tennessee — lawmakers have enacted either a partial or total ban on access to gender-affirming care, though in Alabama and Arkansas the laws are not currently in effect due to court injunctions. At least 20 others have tried.
Many of these proposals have sought to restrict anyone under the age of 18 from care that includes puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy or transition-related surgery. In some of those states, health care providers now face the threat of jail time for offering gender-affirming care.
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Advocates fear the overall fallout could be dramatic. An estimated 300,000 American youth ages 13 to 17 identify as transgender, and according to a March study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, at least 53,800 were at risk of losing gender-affirming medical care.
The article includes useful visual maps depicting the states that have passed laws restricting health care access for trans youth and the state that have enacted anti-trans laws centered on schooling.