Montana is now the latest state to ban gender-affirming childcare

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill on Friday an invoice to ban gender-affirming care for minors in the latest attempt by a Republican-led state to strip licensed medical professionals of control of certain healthcare decisions.

The move sparked an outcry from groups like the Montana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose president, Dr. Lauren Wilson, called that the legislation is “based on false information”.

“This law is an overly broad blanket ban that puts decisions that should be made by families and doctors in the hands of politicians,” the state chapter said called Earlier this month as the measure moved through Montana’s Legislature.

Wilson and others have pledged to fight the new law, which fits into a broader strategy by Republican officials to limit physical autonomy.

The debate over the bill prompted Democratic Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who is transgender, to tell her fellow reps last week, “I hope… you see the blood on your hands.” Research shows thoughts of suicide are suicidal especially high in transgender youth experiencing social stigma.

Republicans then reprimanded Zephyr for her comments and banned her from the State House floor for the remainder of the term. In a statement that also purposely misgendered them, the Montana Freedom Caucus said Zephyr pushed a aside “Commitment to civil discourse.”

Montana State Assemblyman Zooey Zephyr speaks to the media Wednesday after a House meeting in Helena.
Montana State Assemblyman Zooey Zephyr speaks to the media Wednesday after a House meeting in Helena.

Montana is now one of at least 15 states that have laws prohibiting or severely restricting gender-affirming childcare a review by The Associated Press.

The Montana measure is scheduled to go into effect on October 1 and will bar transgender youth from receiving puberty blockers, hormone treatments and surgery. Physicians who flout the law can have their license suspended for at least a year and can be sued for mental or physical harm to patients after a trial for 25 years.

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The law also restricts public funds and employees from being used “directly or indirectly” for gender-affirming treatment.

The law is expected to face immediate challenges.

“I know this is an unconstitutional law. This is as cruel as it is unconstitutional. And it will go to court,” Zephyr said after Gianforte signed the law, according to the AP.

“There’s an understandable tendency to despair in those moments, but you have to know we’re going to win,” she added.

If you or someone you know needs assistance, dial 988 or call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also get SMS support by visiting Suicide In addition, see local resources for mental health and crises at Outside the US, please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

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