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Senate passes a number of 'transgender' bills — including a ban on gender-affirming care for minors

The North Dakota Senate has passed a number of bills impacting transgender people.

One of the measures is HB 1254. It would ban and criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender minors. It imposes felony charges on doctors who perform sex assignment surgeries, and misdemeanors for doctors who prescribe hormone therapies or puberty blockers to children.

Sen. Keith Boehm (R-Mandan) argued puberty blockers permanently sterilize the child, and referred to gender affirming care as “child mutilation.”

"If someone, once they are an adult, wants to sterilize themselves, or cut off body parts, they have every right to do so — not children," Boehm said on the Senate floor. "When will the adults in the room recognize what harm we are doing to children, if we allow this travesty to happen?"

Sen. Judy Lee (R-West Fargo) chairs the Senate Human Services Committee. She warned her colleagues to back their assertions with facts, not opinion. And she said these procedures are done only with parental permission.

"It is extraordinarily important for our 47 people who don't have medical degrees, to not be intruding into extraordinarily private and personal medical decisions that providers and families — that means parents — are making with their children," Lee told the Senate. "The kids are not making the decisions."

Amendments were offered to the measure, to reduce any criminal penalties, and to allow doctors to prescribe puberty blockers to minors who have had at least a year of mental health care. They were rejected.

The bill passed the Senate 37 to 10. It now goes to Gov. Burgum.

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