North Carolina Republicans took a page out of Arkansas’s conservative playbook on Monday morning, as Republican Ralph Hise, the deputy president pro tempore of the Senate, filed a bill that would prohibit anyone under 21 years old from accessing gender-affirming healthcare, such as hormone blockers. The bill was filed days after the fifth anniversary of HB2, a day during which legislative Democrats filed a series of bills that would protect LGBTQ North Carolinians.
Hise has not made a public statement about the bill on his website or social media channels. Neither have Senators Warren Daniel or Norman Sanderson, the other two primary sponsors of the bill.
SB 514 is pretty grim. It says that because hormone blockers and surgeries like mastectomies are destroying “a minor’s healthy reproductive organs,” these therapies, surgeries, and medicines couldn’t be given to anyone under the age of 21—despite the fact that state law currently allows 14-year-olds to get married to adults. This is more severe than the controversial Arkansas bill, which banned gender-affirming medical care for children under age 18.
This is the second transphobic bill filed in the General Assembly this session. In March, House Republicans filed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which would ban trans people from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.
The bill says that intersex children and those “with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sexual development” would be exempt from the bans. Also, while parents cannot demand healthcare for their trans children, they can legally withhold consent for treatment if their child wants to go through gender-affirming treatments.
“This horrific bill, like so many others across the country, is a direct attack on trans and gender-nonconforming youth,” LGBTQ rights advocacy group Equality NC said in a tweet. “Decisions about a child’s medical welfare should be made between that child, their doctor, and their parents or guardians—not lawmakers.”
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