At a protest for transgender rights, a person holds a sign reading "Protect trans kids".

5 States Where Providing Gender-Affirming Care to Minors Is a Felony

The kids ain't alright.

This year has seen a record number of anti-trans legislation across the United States. To say being trans in America is dangerous would be an understatement. And now, these right-wing politicians are attacking the doctors and healthcare professionals providing lifesaving gender-affirming care (GAC). Here are the 5 U.S. states where providing GAC is punishable as a felony.

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Alabama

No surprise here, but Alabama has created criminal penalties for doctors who provide gender-affirming medical care for trans patients. Some of the states on this list provide exceptions for minors already receiving treatment prior to the law being passed, or for patients seeking non-surgical care. But not Alabama. The state offers no exceptions, and in fact, doctors can be punished with up to a 10-year prison sentence for violating this law.

Florida

Though Florida is willing to revoke the medical licenses of doctors who provide GAC, it does have an exception that Alabama lacks: it allows minors who were receiving care prior to the law being passed to continue with their care regimen. However, this law is still incredibly harsh for doctors found to be in violation: it imposes criminal penalties, including felony penalties, and prohibits Medicare from covering any gender-affirming service. As of June 6, 2023, a federal judge has issued an injunction against Florida’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, ruling that trans minors can continue receiving gender-affirming care like puberty blockers, despite a statewide ban.

Idaho

Idaho plans to punish doctors of trans patients with up to 10 years in prison for providing necessary care, with no exceptions. The bill goes into effect next year but has already seen pushback from the ACLU. For a bill designed to protect children, this one just seems to promise more harm than good. Trans teens have higher suicide rates when denied gender-affirming care, so it’s clear that this law is anti-trans and anti-suicide prevention.

North Dakota

North Dakota is another state with the previous care exception, but it still imposes a criminal charge on doctors who provide new care to minors under the age of 18. Supporters of the bill claim its goal is to prevent the “life-altering ramifications of gender reassignment surgeries”, but it also prohibits hormone blockers and other non-surgical transition options. The law also adds the possibility of a $20,000 fine in lieu of a 10-year prison sentence for doctors who provide care.

Oklahoma

The Oklahoma care ban went into effect immediately due to the urgency Governor Kevin Stitt felt to increase transgender teen suicide rates. The ban has the same pre-existing care exception as some of the states listed above, but still imposes criminal penalties on care providers who are found to be in violation of it.

(featured image: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


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Scout (she/her/hers) is a freelance news writer for The Mary Sue. When not scrolling Twitter, she's thinking about scrolling Twitter. She likes short walks on the beach, glitter pens, and burnt coffee. She does not read the comments.