Austin district court Judge Maria Cantu Hexsel blocked an upcoming September 1 ban on gender-affirming care that was set to take effect in Texas, as a growing list of states–including more than a dozen this year–have passed similar legislation targeting transgender healthcare.
August 25, 2023Hexsel argued the ban, which was signed by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in June and prohibits the provision of puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgery for transgender minors, stood at odds with “parents’ fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care of their children,” according to Reuters.
August 25, 2023Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson–who threatened to call a special session to pass a ban–approved the bill, set to take effect Monday, that prohibits in-state physicians from performing gender-reassignment surgeries or from prescribing puberty blockers to minors unless they were already receiving treatment before August 28, with an added provision that restricts access to surgeries for imprisoned adults.
August 21, 2023The federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Alabama bill that made it a felony to prescribe puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors under 19, indicating that states have “a compelling interest in protecting children from drugs” that have “uncertainty regarding benefits,” reversing a temporary injunction following a complaint from the Justice Department.
August 20, 2023U.S. District Judge Sarah Geraghty placed a preliminary injunction on a Georgia law prohibiting in-state physicians from providing hormone replacement therapy to minors, suggesting it likely violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses and “singles out transgender minors for the denial of essential medical care,” though she did not block a ban on gender-reassignment surgeries.
July 15, 2023U.S. District Judge David Hale lifted a temporary injunction on Kentucky‘s ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender minors–allowing restrictions to take effect effective immediately–after Hale ruled last month the ban was likely unconstitutional.
July 8, 2023The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld Tennessee‘s ban on gender-affirming care, allowing the state to prohibit access to puberty blockers and gender-reassignment surgery for minors effective immediately, after a panel of three judges voted to reverse a temporary injunction on the ban by District Judge Eli Richardson, who said last month the ban was likely unconstitutional.
June 7, 2023In Missouri, Parson signed into law a bill prohibiting in-state physicians from performing gender-reassignment surgeries or prescribing puberty blockers to minors unless they were already receiving treatment before August 28, with an added provision that restricts access to surgeries for imprisoned adults, though legal challenges from the ACLU of Missouri and other groups are attempting to overturn the law–a judge later denied their initial request for a temporary injunction that would’ve prevented the law from taking effect, but the ACLU of Missouri told Forbes it plans to continue legal challenges and pursue a full trial.
June 21, 2023District Judge Robert Hinkle–who argued “gender identity is real”–ruled against a Florida ban that restricted Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care, two weeks after issuing a preliminary injunction on a state ban prohibiting such care while suggesting it is “medically necessary.”
June 20, 2023District Judge Jay Moody issued a permanent injunction against an Arkansas law prohibiting in-state physicians from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to minors, arguing the law violated due process protections and equal protections rights of transgender youth. (Moody had temporarily blocked the law in 2021 after the ACLU sued, ahead of a trial.)
June 16, 2023An Indiana ban on gender-affirming care for minors was partially blocked by a preliminary injunction from Judge Patrick Hanlon, who ordered the state to refrain from enforcing its ban on “gender transition procedures” while a lawsuit makes its way through the court, though he upheld a ban on gender-reassignment surgeries.
April 21, 2023Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond agreed not to enforce a state bill restricting access to gender-affirming care while a lawsuit requesting a preliminary injunction made its way through the court.
July 18, 2022The Georgia Department of Community Health agreed to include coverage of gender-reassignment surgeries in the state’s Medicaid program, after a bill approved a year earlier excluded coverage.
Lawsuits have been filed in most states with legislation targeting gender-affirming care, with requests for temporary or permanent injunctions. The American Civil Liberties Union has sued over restrictions in Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, Montana, Idaho, Kentucky and Arizona, and pledged to challenge similar legislation in other states. The Justice Department–which challenged Alabama’s ban–also filed a complaint against Tennessee and called for an injunction, arguing the state’s restrictions on gender-affirming care are unconstitutional.
21. That’s how many states have issued bans or restrictions on gender-affirming care. Of these, 18 were passed this year.
Legislation targeting transgender healthcare has been passed in several states in recent months, following arguments from some politicians–including former President Donald Trump–suggesting gender-affirming care is “child abuse.” Other politicians and medical organizations have since pushed back against attempts to ban gender-affirming care, arguing that treatment is necessary because transgender children face high rates of depression and suicide. The American Medical Association–alongside other organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Physicians–reinforced its position, suggesting “widespread misinformation” about medical care for transgender youth has resulted in more restrictions nationwide. The organization also argued that gender-affirming care “can be lifesaving.”