Pass Idaho’s Transgender Ban—and Then Take the Fight to the Board of Medicine
“Gender-Affirming” treatments violate medical “standards of care."
Nowhere in the Western world is the transgender craze more fanatical than in the United States. Professional groups and corporations lined up to support the “gender-affirming” care. Parents brag about their trans kids. Those who speak out against it are thought to be public enemies by the jackals and hyenas among the trans activists.
The treatments preferred by trans activists put American teenagers in charge of making risky, irreversible medical decisions. Activists assume that “gender identity” is innate and immutable—that some kids born that way and can know this as toddlers. Their unhappiness comes from “minority stress,” which asserts dissatisfaction and anxiety are the result of a transphobic society, not a social contagion or mental disease. Society generally and health professionals specifically must, on their view, affirm the new identity. California’s new law making itself a transgender sanctuary state follows from these assumptions.
“Gender-affirming” care comes in stages, but these stages have become very condensed in American medicine thanks to pressure from the trans crowd. First comes “social affirmation” (like using pronouns and a new name), then interventions increase in intensity with puberty-blockers first, then hormone treatments and last mutilating surgeries.
This is madness on many, many levels. Idaho is right to try and stop it. Teachers will be using the pronouns and new names and generally encouraging such a transitioning mentality—Idaho is not doing much about that (except bathroom legislation, which is not nothing, but which ignores the whole grooming aspect of the trans madness).
Idaho’s current approach, which cleared the house on a nearly party line vote on Tuesday, February 14th, is to amend the female genital mutilation statute to make it illegal for doctors who provide gender affirming care. Doctors who intervene with puberty-blockers, hormone treatments, and surgeries will be committing a felony, subject to up to ten years in jail. Stop the doctor, stop the later stages of the gender transitioning. This is well and good, but, as we have argued, such an approach is unlikely to be effective. The juice of such a law may not be worth the squeeze.
(For those who doubt this statement, see Leor Sapir and Colin Wright’s “How Not to Regulate Pediatric Gender Medicine: Three Mistaken Efforts state Legislators Should Avoid.” This article surveys bans in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. Or consider this excellent interview between Dr. J and Jay Richards.)
A survey of the world and of Florida, the model for red state governance, shows what actions must eventually supplement Idaho’s approach if we are to end “gender-affirming” medicine effectively. Generally, civil penalties are better than criminal penalties, statutes of limitations for malpractice liability should be expanded (to forever if possible, but at least for ten years), and private rights of action for “patients” or victims against providers are needed.
Democrats in Idaho's House talked about "standards of care," and that is indeed where the action is. The best way to make civil penalties effective is to study and define the “standards of care” professionally—to ground the analysis less in law and more in professional standards. This is a scary prospect, however, since many medical authorities like the American Academy of Pediatrics have embraced the “gender-affirming” care assumptions.
Nevertheless, Idaho has a Board of Medicine. The governor appoints people to that Board (from a list provided by the Idaho Medical Association—a procedure that the legislature should consider amending to give itself a role and to decrease the power of the IMA). And objective analysis shows that evidence supporting these protocols for youths is, at best, extremely weak and riven with deliberately concealed risks. If the legislature cannot order the Board of Medicine to conduct a top-to-bottom review of these protocols, Idaho’s governor should himself, even if that defies his money-hungry allies in the hospitals.
And the study should be conducted along the lines of Sweden, Great Britain, Finland, and Florida—the only political entities who have done top-to-bottom studies of “gender-affirming” care. All have found that America's crazed trans lobby are asking for things outside the "standard of care."
Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare conducted its inquiry in 2022, and it yielded a standard of care that essentially prohibited the three advanced treatments of puberty-blockers, hormone therapies, and surgeries.
For adolescents with gender incongruence, the NBHW deems that the risks of puberty suppressing treatment with GnRH-analogues and gender-affirming hormonal treatment currently outweigh the possible benefits, and that the treatments should be offered only in exceptional cases. This judgement is based mainly on three factors: the continued lack of reliable scientific evidence concerning the efficacy and the safety of both treatments, the new knowledge that detransition occurs among young adults, and the uncertainty that follows from the yet unexplained increase in the number of care seekers, an increase particularly large among adolescents registered as females at birth. (See page 3 for internal citations)
Hospitals throughout Sweden announced policy changes, prohibiting the use of “gender-affirming” care (and, yes, Action Idaho has some knowers of Swedish in our orbit.)
Britain’s study was, if anything, more comprehensive and more damning for the “gender-affirming” crowd. Several institutes and colleges involved in medical practice released reports on standards of care in Britain, including the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Royal College of General Practitioners. A representative finding:
Any potential benefits of gender-affirming hormones must be weighed against the largely unknown long-term safety profile of these treatments in children and adolescents with gender dysphoria.
That, my friends, is an effective ban. Once these protocols are not standards of care, doctors simply cannot dispense them and keep their licenses and their insurance premiums will go up and up.
The most relevant example for Idaho’s purposes, however, is Florida. Come back tomorrow for a treatment of that.