Utah bans transgender surgery, limits hormone treatments for minors

The law will still allow "medically necessary" sex reassignment surgeries and some hormone treatments.
Girl, transgender flag, Madrid, Spain, July 9, 2022

Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill into law banning transgender surgeries on children under the age of 18 and limiting hormone therapy for minors.

"While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures," Cox said Saturday after signing the bill.

The law, S.B. 16, bans sex reassignment surgeries for most minors, with exceptions for those whose surgeries are deemed "medically necessary" for a reason other than to facilitate a sex change.

Starting this July, a medical professional providing hormonal transgender treatments to minors must determine whether their patient has another physical or mental health issue and whether hormone treatment is the best course of action. 

The bill also states that there is a moratorium on hormone treatment for minors diagnosed with gender dysphoria after the bill goes into effect, which is May 3, 2023, according to NBC News

"A health care provider may provide a hormonal transgender treatment to a minor only if the health care provider has been treating the minor for gender dysphoria for at least six months," the bill states. 

"Trans kids are kids — they deserve to grow up without constant political attacks on their lives and health care; we will defend that right," the ACLU of Utah tweeted after the bill became law.

Cox previously vetoed a bill banning transgender students from participating in girls' school sports. The veto was overridden, but a judge reversed the ban pending legal challenges.