BOISE, Idaho — Proposed legislation inside the Statehouse looks to ban gender reassignment surgeries and gender-affirming health care treatments for minors. The controversial bill passed the full house Tuesday with GOP support to be sent to the Senate side.
“If we do not allow minors to get tattoos, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or sign legal contracts, why would we allow them to make decisions to cut away health organs based on their feelings during puberty time,” Bill sponsor Republican Rep. Bruce Skaug said.
The potential ban on gender reassignment surgeries, puberty blockers and hormone therapy for minors passed the full house Tuesday 53-13.
Skaug says the “sterilization and mutilation of children under the age of 18 needs to stop” and the bill would make it a felony to provide the care to transgender youth.
Republican Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, chair of Senate State Affairs, says she hasn't decided on holding hearing for House-approved transgender bill outlawing gender-affirming health care. Says she's being bombarded with emails, "stories that are just heartbreaking." #idpol #idleg— Keith Ridler (@KeithRidler) March 10, 2022
“I would ask that you give this your green light and protect our children in their younger years,” Skaug said during the debate.
Opponents of the bill say the government would be overstepping on a family’s decision which could have negative impacts on a child’s mental health.
“I hope that everybody here will be consistent with the rhetoric that has floated around the body in terms of family decision-making on such crucial and intimate and medical matters,” House Minority Leader and Democratic Rep. Ilana Rubel said.
I'm committed to ensuring every kid in Boise has a chance to grow up safe - House Bill 675 does the opposite. Trans youth are more likely to suffer from depression and are at an greater risk of suicide. Age-appropriate, best-practice gender affirming healthcare saves lives.— Mayor McLean (@boisemayor) March 9, 2022
“We sit around here and call ourselves pro-life in this body but if this bill passes that will most certainly not be true because a yes vote will be a noose around the neck of kids who want to live but not like this,” Democratic Rep. Ned Burns said.
On a press call Wednesday, Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder was asked about HB 675 and if he thought the bill would get a hearing in a Senate committee.
“I think, like HB 666, I don’t think there’s a significant drumbeat for it,” Winder said. “If I were a betting person I would give it pretty low odds of advancing.”
The bill could be held and not move forward through the senate. The bill received zero democratic support but got the green light on a near party-line vote
“People are struggling with their identity and those questions of identity. It will be the state of Idaho’s policy. You aren’t going to make any of those decisions in those tumultuous teenage years instead you will make those decisions once you reach adult,” Crane said.