Indiana becomes latest state to pass anti-trans legislation

Indianapolis, Indiana - LGBTQ+ rights in Indiana are under assault as the state legislature on Monday passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.

The Indiana state legislature has passed a ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth (stock image).
The Indiana state legislature has passed a ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth (stock image).  © 123RF/inkdrop

The House voted 65-30, largely along party lines, to advance the measure and send the bill to Republican Governor Eric Holcomb's desk for signature.

The legislation, known as SB 480, would bar transgender minors from accessing hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and surgeries in the state.

Many opponents of the bill testified that gender-affirming care is often life-saving for trans youth.

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Medical professionals noted that hormone therapies and puberty blockers are reversible, while surgeries aren't even available to minors in Indiana at present.

Indiana has now become the 12th state whose legislature has voted to ban gender-affirming care for residents under 18, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Next steps for Indiana's gender-affirming care ban

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb can override SB 480, but the state legislature can override it with a simple-majority vote.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb can override SB 480, but the state legislature can override it with a simple-majority vote.  © SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Holcomb has the opportunity to veto the bill, but the state legislature can override it with a simple-majority vote.

The governor in 2022 vetoed a bill that would ban transgender girls from participating on school sports teams. The state legislature then overrode his decision.

If signed into law, the bill would take effect on July 1. Health care providers would have only until the end of the year to keep providing hormone therapy to people who began treatments before June 30, 2023.

The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intent to file a legal challenge, tweeting, "If this dangerous bill is signed into law, we will defend the rights of trans youth in court."

Cover photo: 123RF/inkdrop

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