Montana Contributes to a Rise in Banning Gender-Affirming Surgery

Mia Shields, Design Editor

The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, defines gender-affirming care as something medically necessary for the overall well-being of many nonbinary and transgender people experiencing gender dysphoria, including minors. The American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatrics support age-appropriate gender-affirming care, in line with the Human Rights Campaign. 

Opposingly, Conservatives have long opposed the idea of gender-affirming care, which implies surgical and non-surgical interventions. This opposition is rooted in various reasons, primarily religious beliefs and concerns regarding child abuse. 

With this, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana signed a bill on Friday, April 28, banning gender-affirming medical care for minors, making Montana one of at least 15 states with such laws seeking to ban these treatments for minors, in just this past year. 

Gianforte has made it clear with this bill that public funds will not be used to pay for hormone blockers, cross-sex hormones, or surgical procedures. The law would also prohibit people undergoing gender-affirming treatment from involvement with public property or even employment. 

This bill plans to go into effect on Oct. 1, however, many have high hopes that its tremendous amounts of backlash will thwart Gov. Gianforte’s plan. 

The Governor’s son, David Gianforte identifies as non-binary and has gone against his father in an attempt to veto the legislation. David Ginaforte is not alone in his campaign against Gov. Gianforte; Rep. Zooey Zephry, D-Missoula, is one of the state’s first openly transgender lawmakers who has brought national attention to Montana, calling out that this bill will alarmingly increase suicide rates among transgender minors. Rep. Zephyr has now been blocked from speaking on the House floor as punishment by House Republicans. Furthermore, parents of transgender children have spoken against this bill, testifying that this bill violates parental rights to seek medical care for their children.