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Indiana Legislature Passes Draconian Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

Close-up of a t-shirt reading "protect trans kids"

Another one bites the dust.

Indiana is the latest state to join the anti-trans confederacy of dunces. In a 65-30 vote, the state legislature banned gender-affirming care for minors. The bill, known as SB 480, will prohibit doctors from providing “nearly all forms of science-based care available to trans youth”. This includes puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and all forms of transition-related surgical procedures. The bill also prohibits “aiding and abetting” (really went for the most criminal term they could there) a medical practitioner from providing gender transition procedures to anyone below the age of 18. In the thinnest of silver linings, the bill does allow for such procedures medically for minors who have a “verifiable disorder of sex development.” Cis and intersex youth appear to be safe. Trans youth will not enjoy the same privileges.

While all hope appears to be lost, there is one last defense against this bill passing: Indiana’s state governor. Governor Eric Holcomb has vetoed anti-trans bills in the past, including a bill that attempted to prohibit trans girls from playing on girls’ sports teams. However, the bill was overridden by the Indiana legislature and passed into law. It’s likely that something similar could occur here. After all, it only takes a simple majority to override a bill. The bill received well over half the vote when it was proposed on the legislative floor. It’s almost assured that it will receive the overwhelming majority once more.

The Indiana ACLU has published and tweeted opposition to the bill, and is urging Governor Holcomb to veto it. Should the governor sign the bill into law, it will go into effect on July 1st. Thankfully, the bill does not seem to attempt to criminalize people who flee the state in order to receive healthcare, and trans youth may be able to seek out care in “trans refuge states” like Minnesota.

The number of states that will ban all forms of gender-affirming care will likely continue to grow. Indiana was previously one of seven states where a ban on such care was “highly likely,” according to this map. Other states where such laws are likely to pass include Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, and South Carolina. It is cause for alarm that over 34 states have proposed over 124 bills that limit the rights of trans Americans. It is well over half the country. While not all of these states will see these bills pass, many will, giving trans youth a diminishing number of places where they can exist safely.

(featured image: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.