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Bill to ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors headed to Montana governor's desk

The Montana state Capitol
William Marcus
Montana Public Radio/File photo
The Montana state Capitol

Republican lawmakers are sending a bill to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth in Montana to the governor for consideration.

The high-profile proposal has drawn more than 100 residents to the state Capitol to testify. Opponents, including medical experts and the state’s trans community, say the ban will prevent minors from receiving best practice care and lead to higher rates of depression and suicide.

Supporters say the bill aims to protect young people from treatment that could have long-lasting impacts.

The American Medical Association says treatment for gender dysphoria, like puberty blockers, is medically necessary.

Despite passionate protest from Democrats, the state Legislature’s Republican supermajority passed the bill largely along party lines. A similar policy failed in the Montana Legislature twice last session.

It’s now up to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte to either sign, veto or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

The AP reports Gianforte has not said whether he will sign the bill, but a spokesperson for his office says he will "carefully consider" it.

Copyright 2023 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.