A new law prohibiting puberty-delaying medications and transgender surgery for minors was recently passed in Utah.
The governor of Utah signed two bills on Saturday that are part of larger national movements: one that forbids minors from receiving gender-affirming medical care, and another that permits families to receive scholarships to pay for education outside of the public school system.
They are the first state to do so this year, and as of the first few weeks of the 2023 legislative sessions, at least 18 other states are drafting similar legislation.
ACLU of Utah is one of the critics. The civil rights organization expressed its deep concern in a letter to the governor about “the harmful and potentially catastrophic effects this law will have on people’s lives and medical care, and the grave violations of people’s constitutional rights it will cause.
“By cutting off medical treatment supported by every major medical association in the United States, the bill compromises the health and well-being of adolescents with gender dysphoria. It ties doctors’ and parents’ hands by limiting access to the only evidence-based treatment available for this serious medical condition and impairs their ability to fulfill their professional obligations,” according to the letter.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah and the National Center for Lesbian Rights announced on Monday that they will sue the bill.
“We’re putting together a challenge as quickly as we can,” NCLR legal director Shannon Minter told KSL NewsRadio.
“If a child does not receive treatment, they will suffer harm, become sicker, worsen, and suffer very serious consequences… even life-threatening consequences.”
Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Oklahoma are among the states attempting to pass similar legislation this year prohibiting minors from having transgender surgeries, hormone therapy, or puberty blockers.