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45,000 youth nationwide at risk of losing access to gender-affirming care

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On Tuesday, the Williams Institute reported that an estimated 45,000 transgender teen-agers are at risk of being denied gender-affirming healthcare.

Recently proposed and passed laws in state legislatures are to blame for the danger.

The Williams Institute said that officials in 21 states have introduced bills to deny gender-affirming medical care to trans youth. Arkansas has passed legislation denying gender-affirming care for youth, which impacts an estimated 1,450 transgender youth in the state, overriding the veto by the state’s GOP governor. Nine other states are still considering these bills, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Most of these bills would penalize medical providers for delivering gender-affirming care to minors. A few states would extend penalties to parents who seek gender-affirming medical care for their children, according to the institute.

Gender-affirming care for minors does not include surgery instead focusing on treatments like hormone blockers to promote development that matches the child’s gender identity. The treatment is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Endocrine Society.

“A growing body of research shows that gender-affirming care improves mental health and overall well-being of transgender people, including youth,” said lead author Kerith J. Conron, the Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute. “Efforts that support transgender youth in living according to their gender identity are associated with better mental health.”

Prior research from the Williams Institute found that the risk of past-year suicide attempts was lower among transgender people who wanted and received gender-affirming medical care.

Read the report

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