The Idaho House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday banning transgender surgeries and medications for minors, marking just the latest red state to push for bans on the controversial treatments.
“The Vulnerable Child Protective Act,” introduced by Rep. Bruce Skaug (R.), will now move forward to the state Senate. The proposed legislation expands an existing ban on “female genital mutilation,” making it a felony to administer puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to a child, or to perform surgery to “alter the appearance of or affirm the child’s perception of the child’s sex.”
“We do not allow minors to get tattoos, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, sign legal documents, why would we allow them to make the decision to cut away healthy bodily organs, and open the road to chemical castration at age 12?” Skaug said during a committee hearing.
Republican states across the country are pushing for similar bans on transgender treatments. Last week, Florida’s Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine banned transgender surgeries and hormone treatments for minors, becoming the first state to ban the practice through an administrative process.
In Idaho, Democratic representatives claimed that the bill was inconsistent with the GOP’s defense of parental rights, alluding to topics such as vaccines and sex education. Proponents of the legislation, however, argued that the stakes of the bill go beyond parental choice.
“It’s not that we’re being selective,” said Rep. Julianne Young (R.). “What it comes down to for me, is determining what are the appropriate bounds and limits of that parental authority.”
It is unclear if the bill will pass through the state Senate. A similar bill last year failed to pass through the upper chamber, the Associated Press reported.