In a move that has ignited a fierce debate, North Carolina has become the latest state to enact legislation banning gender-affirming medical care for minors. Here’s the full story.
Republican lawmakers successfully overrode Democratic Governor Roy Cooper’s opposition to implementing a bill that restricts medical professionals from providing hormone therapy, puberty-blocking drugs, and surgical procedures related to sex changes for individuals under 18 years old.
They Had the Majority
Amidst a flurry of legislative activity on gender-related issues, North Carolina’s GOP-dominated House and Senate solidified their position with a resounding majority.
Ban on Gender-Affirming Surgery on Minors
The bill, which immediately became law upon enactment, prevents medical professionals from performing gender-affirming procedures on minors.
However, the law does include a limited exception – minors who had initiated treatment prior to August 1st can continue receiving care if their physicians and parents agree it is medically necessary.
It Is a Duty
Republican Senator Joyce Krawiec, the bill’s primary sponsor, asserts that the state has a duty to shield minors from potentially irreversible medical decisions until they are capable of making informed choices.
State’s Only Openly LGBTQ+ Senator
Conversely, Democratic Senator Lisa Grafstein, the state’s only openly LGBTQ+ senator, condemns the bill as deeply disheartening.
She Expressed Her Concerns
She labeled it as the “most heartbreaking bill in a truly heartbreaking session,” expressing concern about the emotional toll it may take on transgender youth.
North Carolina is far from alone in enacting such legislation, as it joins nearly two dozen states that have introduced similar bans or restrictions on gender-affirming care for minors.
In a simultaneous series of decisions, North Carolina lawmakers also took a stance on gender-related education matters.
An additional bill, enacted via an override of Governor Cooper’s veto, mandates that teachers inform parents before addressing a student by a name or pronoun different from their assigned sex at birth.
Furthermore, it prohibits instruction on gender identity and sexuality in K-4 classrooms.
Lots of Lawsuits
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “I probably won’t be alive to see it but I know that there’s going to be hundreds and hundreds of lawsuits from those who are given sex changes at early ages.”
Another User wrote, “The fact that tax dollars are being spent to fight this makes me sick. It shouldn’t even be a question.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.