Iowa Passes Controversial Bills Banning Gender-Affirming Care for Minors and Imposing Restrictions on Transgender Bathroom Use

Gender-affriming care on youth

Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa has signed two laws that would restrict the rights of transgender minors and students to undergo gender-affirming care. The first law prohibits Iowa doctors from providing gender-affirming care, such as prescribing puberty blockers or trans-sexual hormones, to transgender minors.

The second law restricts transgender students from using school bathrooms or locker rooms that do not align with their sex assigned at birth. These laws take effect immediately, but doctors will have six months to stop providing gender-affirming care to patients under 18.

Two Laws Passed and is Said to be an Attack on Transgender Youth in Iowa

These laws are part of a wave of bills introduced by Iowa Republicans this year that target LGBTQ issues, particularly those affecting transgender children. In the article in Des Moines Register, the spokesperson of Governor Reynolds said that the governor have been meeting with some parents of transgender children to discuss the two bills before signing them into law.

The spokesperson stated that during the meeting, the governor expressed empathy towards the parents and acknowledged that the decision was difficult for her and elected officials.

The governor also mentioned that her heart breaks for the families impacted by these laws. Despite the meeting, the governor signed the bills into law, which prohibit gender-affirming care for transgender minors and restrict transgender students' access to school facilities that align with their gender identity.

According to the article in CNN, in Iowa's state House, Democrats have accused supporters of banning gender-affirming care of hypocrisy for not giving parents a choice to allow such respect for their children. Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Konfrst argued that the session was supposed to be about parents' rights, but the bill seems to suggest that parents know best until the government steps in.

On the other hand, some Republicans disagreed with the idea during the debate, stating that they were taught not to judge others and the bill was too broad in its scope. Despite the controversy, the bill was passed by the state House with a vote of 58-39, following earlier approval by the state Senate with a 2-to-1 margin.

Also Read: Mississippi Senate Approves Bill Restricting Access to Gender-Affirming Health Care for Minors

Schools Need to Follow the Law

Superintendent Matthew Smith, the Interim of Des Moines Public Schools stated that the school district must follow the bathroom and locker room use law for transgender students, employees, parents, and visitors. According to Iowa Public Radio, Smith added that the district's commitment to serving the LGBTQ+ population with respect and dignity remains unchanged.

The DMPS policy, as well as federal and state legislation, forbid harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. To make sure the safety and security of all students and employees and to foster a welcoming atmosphere for all members of the community, the school district will keep up the enforcement of its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment rules.

The new law allows students who desire more privacy when using the restroom or changing room to submit a written request signed by their parent or guardian to their principal.

Related Article: Texas' Gender-Affirming Care Considered Child Abuse For Some, Survey Says