The house of representatives in Idaho passed a bill on Tuesday that looks to criminalize transgender medical procedures for youth and would make it a felony punishable by life imprisonment for those helping a child travel across state lines for that kind of treatment.
The bill targets measures that include vasectomy, hysterectomy, mastectomy, puberty-blocking medication, and supraphysiological doses of either testosterone or estrogen.
The piece of legislation will now head to the state’s Republican-controlled senate, and if approved, the GOP governor, Brad Little, will be able to either veto it or sign it into law.
“Whoever knowingly removes or causes, permits, or facilitates the removal of a child from this state for the purpose of facilitating any act prohibited…by this section shall be guilty of a felony,” the bill states. “Any person convicted of a violation…shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned in the state prison for a term of not more than life.”
Civil rights groups and LGBTQ+ advocacy campaigns have consistently condemned the proposition.
“By making it impossible for doctors to provide care for their patients, transgender youth are denied the age-appropriate, best practice, medically necessary, gender-affirming care that a new study just found reduces the risk of moderate or severe depression by 60% and suicidality by 73%,” said Cathryn Oakley, the state legislative director and senior counsel or the Human Rights Campaign, which is the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy group.
The Idaho vote comes at the same time that the Florida senate also passed a bill that bans instructional material on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.
Just last week, a Texas judge blocked the state from carrying out Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive that encouraged investigations of parents who seek “gender-affirming” treatments for their transgender youth.