BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Senate on Monday voted 22-12 to pass a bill criminalizing gender-affirming healthcare for minors, one month after the state House passed similar legislation.
The measure bars transgender and transitioning children, or children with gender dysphoria, from receiving hormones or puberty blockers to alleviate their symptoms or help them with transitioning, KTVB reported Monday.
Doctors prescribing these hormones or blockers could be charged with a felony and face prison time.
The Senate will send the measure back to the House for consideration of the Senate amendments. If the House agrees, the bill will go to Gov. Brad Little.
Republican lawmakers in more than two dozen states have pushed for bans on gender-affirming care this year, targeting what doctors and psychologists widely consider medically necessary care.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends gender affirming care to treat children struggling with gender dysphoria. The organization says those who struggle with the condition are more likely to think about suicide or attempt suicide.
Before the vote, Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, read a letter from a constituent pleading with lawmakers to reject the bill.
"'I cannot imagine if that right was taken away from us. Please do not take away a lifeline for parents to save their child,’” Wintrow said as she read the letter on the Senate floor. ”‘It is okay for people to disagree but please do not take away that lifeline. Transgender people have always been here. You can either push them over the edge or help pull them away from the edge.’”
The Associated Press