North Dakota Gov. Signs Restriction On Gender-Affirming Medical Services

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota, a Republican, signed a measure on Wednesday prohibiting the majority of children from receiving gender-affirming medical therapy and threatening those who do so with criminal charges.

Healthcare professionals are not allowed to undertake a range of gender-affirming treatments and operations on patients under the age of 18 under House Bill 1254. The governor’s measure was signed, according to an email from the governor’s communications director, Mike Nowatzki, on Thursday. 

North Dakota Governor Signs New Ban

Some kids may choose to utilize reversible puberty suppression treatment, even though the care is extremely customized. Hormone treatment, which can result in physical changes that are gender-affirming, may also be a part of this process. 

Some Republicans have raised worry about long-term repercussions and whether youngsters, even with parental agreement, should be able to make such important decisions. According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender-affirming care is clinically acceptable for infants and adults with gender dysphoria, a psychological discomfort that can occur when a person’s gender identity and sex assigned at birth do not coincide.

According to Nowatzki in an email to CNN, the bill’s emergency language means that it will go into effect “as soon as it has been approved and filed with the North Dakota Secretary of State, that will be tonight or early next week.”

According to North Dakota law, anybody found infringing on the new laws might be charged with a class B felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail or a fine of $20,000.

Similar to other nationwide prohibitions, the proposed legislation offers several exclusions, notably for adolescents “born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development.” According to Burgum, children who are presently getting gender-affirming care would continue to have access to it under the new law.