Scroll To Top

Iowa Gov. Signs Transphobic Gender-Affirming Care Ban and Bathroom Bill

Iowa Gov. Signs Transphobic Gender-Affirming Care Ban and Bathroom Bill

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

The list of states with bans keeps growing.

Iowa has joined the growing list of states banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Wednesday that prohibits the provision of gender-affirming surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormone treatment to trans minors, The Des Moines Register reports. She also signed a bill that bars trans students in public schools from using the restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity and requires them to get parental consent before seeking other accommodations, such as single-user restrooms.

Both measures take effect immediately. Iowans under 18 who are already on hormones or puberty blockers will have six months to taper off, and doctors will have that period to cease providing gender-affirming care. Violations will bring discipline by licensing boards, and patients and their parents or guardians can sue providers.

Doctors can still refer patients to out-of-state providers for the care. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz recently signed an executive order protecting gender-affirming care, and another neighboring state, Illinois, is unlikely to enact a ban.

Reynolds termed gender-affirming treatments “emerging,” although they are well-established and supported by all major medical groups. She said she had met with parents of trans children before signing the bill.

“We need to just pause, we need to understand what these emerging therapies actually may potentially do to our kids,” she told reporters Tuesday, according to the Register. “My heart goes out to them. I’m a parent, I’m a grandmother, I know how difficult this is. This is an extremely uncomfortable position for me to be in. I don’t like it. But I have to do what I believe right now is in the best interest of the kids.”

Medical professionals and civil rights groups, however, say it’s in the best interest of young people to give them the care they need, which is life-enhancing and often lifesaving. They also note that genital surgery is not recommended for minors and is not performed anywhere in Iowa, while top surgery is rare.

“This ban is not only discriminatory but also life-threatening,” Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director Cathryn Oakley said in a statement earlier this month, before Reynolds signed the care bill. “Transgender youth already face alarming levels of discrimination, and this would only further harm them. No parent or healthcare provider should have to choose between following best medical practices or facing legal consequences.”

“By signing these bills, the governor has shown that she doesn’t actually care about parental rights,” said Becky Tayler, executive director of Iowa Safe Schools. “The parental rights [of] LGBTQ families have been sidelined for the sake of the governor’s ill-fated power trip to national office.”

“Unfortunately, politicians can pass laws that hurt kids and never look back, but it’s transgender kids who have to live with increasing hostility against them from the government, including even monitoring where they go to the bathroom at school,” added Mark Stringer, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.

In a press release, HRC noted that more than half (50.4 percent) of the nation’s trans youth aged 13-17 will soon face barriers to care. Iowa joins seven other states that have enacted a ban through legislation: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah. Florida has put one in place through its medical boards and is considering a bill for an even stricter measure. The Alabama and Arkansas bans are temporarily blocked by court action.

Bans await governors’ signature or veto in Georgia, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and bills to this effect have passed one legislative chamber in Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

“LGBTQ+ people are living in a state of emergency,” Jay Brown, HRC’s senior vice president for programs, research, and training, said in the release. “Today’s findings illustrate how the ongoing assault against transgender people is taking hold across the country and underscore how dire the situation is growing for our community by the day. These dangerous and discriminatory policies advocated by power-hungry politicians are void of any credible purpose. These politicians are spreading propaganda and creating more stigma, discrimination, and violence against transgender people just to rile up extreme members of their base. We must stop them. Now more than ever, we must fight back against extremism and hold anti-LGBTQ+ politicians accountable for bullying children and terrorizing our families.”

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Be sure to follow Advocate on your favorite social platforms!


Want more news, top stories, and videos? Check out the all NEW Advocate Channel!
Your 24/7 streaming source for equality news and lifestyle trends.
Click this link right now:

Latest Stories