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Utah House committee rejects bill that would have prevented some medical procedures on transgender minors

Utah State Capitol
Posted at 11:42 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 13:53:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s House Health and Human Services Committee has rejected House Bill 92, which would have prohibited doctors from performing certain types of procedures—including gender reassignment surgery—on minors.

House Bill 92, which was described as a Medical Practice Amendment, will not move forward.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Rex Shipp, R-Cedar City, in the House, and Sen. Curt Bramble in the Senate, both of whom are considered very conservative legislators.

RELATED: Cox threatens veto of bills on transgender youth

The bill has a long list of medical definitions and would have added several procedures to the “unprofessional conduct” statute including “unnecessary puberty inhibitions” or “sex characteristic-altering procedures” for those under 18 years old.

Sex characteristic-altering procedures would include typical gender correction surgeries, facial feminization surgeries, administration of testosterone or estrogen, or “removing any otherwise healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.”

“Parents do not make these decisions lightly, doctors do not make these decisions lightly. Treatment occurs within the safety and privacy of educated and informed consultation between doctor, patient and parents. We oppose any legislation that would seek to come between the sanctity of a doctor and their patient,” said Maryann Martindale, executive director, Utah Academy of Family Physicians. “I don’t doubt the sincerity of the sponsor but we believe this bill is cruel and comes from a place of misinformation and ignorance and will only serve to hurt the very kids they claim they are trying to protect.”

RELATE: Utah House passes bill blocking transgender girls from school sports

House Bill 302, another bill regarding transgender youth, would designate sports in public schools based on sex and prohibit transgender girls from participating in sports.

Supporters said it's about fairness in athletics, and a young woman should not have to compete with someone who was once biologically male. Critics said the bill ostracizes an already vulnerable group of people.

Governor Spencer Cox said Thursday he would veto both bills if they were to cross his desk for signature.

Cox said he is hoping to meet with the sponsors of both bills in hopes of reaching some sort of compromise legislation.