Bill Description: House Bill 71 would protect children from unnecessary, life-altering medical procedures by prohibiting medical providers from performing sex reassignment surgery on minors or prescribing puberty blockers to them.
NOTE: The Senate Amendment to House Bill 71 was significant, completely restructuring the bill, and removing nearly a page of legislative findings and declarations that were in the original. Both the rating and the analysis of the bill have changed based on this new language. The rating has increased from (+2) to (+3).
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
The most fundamental duty of government is to protect the life and liberty of the individual. House Bill 71 serves to advance this goal by
amending Section 18-1506B, creating Section 18-1506C, Idaho Code, to protect minor children from predatory or irreversible medical practices designed to alter their natural physical development.
In much the same way that Idaho code protects children from adults who would rape or molest them, this law would protect children from adults who would sterilize or otherwise surgically mutilate them.
House Bill 71 acknowledges that
"a medical intervention that results in the impairment and mutilation of the reproductive organs and parts of a child is never necessary to the health of the child on whom it is performed if it is for the sole purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the child's perception of the child's sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child's biological sex." "a surgical operation or medical intervention is never necessary to the health of the child on whom it is performed if it is for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the child's perception of the child's sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child's biological sex."
House Bill 71 prohibits medical providers from engaging in certain practices and procedures on a child that are intended to "alter the appearance of or affirm the child's perception of the child's sex if that perception is inconsistent with the child's biological sex."
Specifically, medical practitioners would be prohibited from the following practices:
"Performing surgeries that sterilize or mutilate, or artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the child's biological sex."
"Performing a mastectomy." (This is sometimes referred to as "top surgery.")
"Administering or supplying" "puberty-blocking medication," "supraphysiological doses of testosterone to a female," or "supraphysiological doses of estrogen to a male," because such medications "induce profound morphologic changes in the genitals of a child or induce transient or permanent infertility."
Each of the protections established by this bill applies only to children. Upon reaching the age of 18, which is also the age of consent in Idaho, individuals will still be free to seek out providers of sterilization or surgical alteration if that is their choice.
House Bill 71 has exceptions for minors with "external biological sex characteristics that are ambiguous and irresolvable" and those who do not have "the normal sex chromosome structure, sex steroid hormone production, or sex steroid hormone action for a male or female."
The legislation also has an exception for "the treatment of any infection, injury, disease, or disorder that has been caused or exacerbated by the performance of gender transition procedures, whether or not the procedures were performed in accordance with state and federal law."
Unfortunately, there is a substantial problem with House Bill 71.
Section 18-1506B, Idaho Code, which would be amended to establish these new protections, currently prohibits genital mutilation of minor females. The current law makes it a felony if someone "knowingly gives permission for, or permits on a child, any act prohibited" by this law or "knowingly removes or causes, permits, or facilitates the removal of a child from this state for the purpose of facilitating any act prohibited" by this law.
House Bill 71 removes these protections from the law, effectively making it legal for a parent or guardian to give permission for heinous abuse against young girls or take a young girl out of state for the express purpose of genital mutilation.
By removing these protections, House Bill 71 would devalue the lives and liberties of young girls and allow them to be taken out of state for irreversible medical practices that cause irreparable harm.