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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, May 23, 2024

The view of the Wisconsin State Capitol on King Street in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Republicans introduce bill targeting gender-affirming healthcare for minors

Republican lawmakers introduced legislation to target gender-affirming surgery for minors as part of repeated national attacks from the GOP against transgender people.

A bill proposed by Rep. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Sen. Duey Stroebel, R- Cedarburg, bans sterilization surgeries, mastectomies, puberty blockers and hormones for minors. 

The bill, titled “Help Not Harm Act,” is part of a sweeping anti-trans agenda by the GOP to reduce access to gender transition services across the nation. There have been more than 574 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in 49 states in the past year. Over 360 are currently enacted, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker

“Our children are not experiments,” Allen, Vos and Stroebel said in a press release about the bill. “Parents should not be scared or pressured into having their children receive non-medically necessary drugs or irreversible procedures before their brains are fully developed.” 

Trans-rights groups quickly condemned the bill.

“These bills are part of a coordinated national political war on the transgender community, designed to distract and divide the general public,” FAIR Wisconsin, an advocacy group working to build an inclusive Wisconsin, said in a press release Thursday. 

Gender-affirming care is supported by a majority of the medical community, including national associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. Less than 1% of individuals say they regret receiving gender-affirming treatment, according to the National Library of Medicine

Wisconsin Republicans introduced a similar bill in July 2022 that did not reach a public hearing or vote. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers promised to veto legislation targeting transgender Wisconsinites.

“It’s wrong for us to take people that have different views, different ways of life, and mess with their lives. I find that atrocious,” Evers said in July. “It’s an idiotic national issue.”

It is unlikely the bill will pass. However, opponents to the bill say that even debating this anti-trans legislation is harmful to the queer community and transgender youth. 

“It would be incredibly cruel to try to enact it into law,” Democratic Sen. Mark Spreitzer of Beloit said after learning of the bill. “Stop trying to legislate trans kids out of existence. Stop trying to interfere in private medical decisions that are made between patients and their doctors and their families.” 

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