transgender youth

Protesters rally for transgender rights in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 6, 2022.

(Photo: Michael Siluk/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

450+ North Carolina Medical Professionals 'Adamantly Oppose' Ban on Gender-Affirming Care

"Any legislation restricting or banning lifesaving care... will be detrimental to the health of transgender and gender-diverse North Carolinians."

More than 450 North Carolina healthcare professionals in recent days have signed an open letter condemning a proposed state ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, legislation the signatories decried as a "dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine."

"As North Carolina healthcare professionals deeply committed to protecting our patients and preserving the trusting and informed relationship between patient and provider, we adamantly oppose any bans or restrictions on access to and provision of lifesaving, gender-affirming care," the doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals wrote in the letter to state lawmakers.

Among the anti-LGBTQ+ bills recently introduced in North Carolina's Republican-led Legislature is the so-called Youth Health Protection Act, which if passed will ban doctors from providing hormone treatments, puberty blockers, and other gender-affirming care. Violators would lose their medical licenses and be fined $1,000.

The letter continues:

Any legislation restricting or banning lifesaving care represents dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine and will be detrimental to the health of transgender and gender-diverse North Carolinians, including youth. The decision of whether and when to seek gender-affirming care, which can include mental and physical health interventions, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family, along with guidance from their medical providers. These decisions should not be made by politicians or the government. This extreme intrusion will not only disrupt the patient-provider relationship, but will discourage talented healthcare providers from staying and providing all manner of healthcare within North Carolina.

"We applaud healthcare providers for taking a stand for trans youth and the LGBTQ+ community. Their voices are a powerful force against the hateful attacks on trans kids," Kendra Johnson, executive director at the advocacy group Equality NC, said in a statement praising the letter. "Legislators need to stay out of our private lives and let healthcare providers do their jobs."

Allison Scott, director of impact and innovation at the Campaign for Southern Equality, said that "we're grateful to see this overwhelming chorus of medical providers calling this legislation out for what it is—extreme overreach of government into private citizens' medical care, with no concern for facts or medical best practices."

"North Carolina's leading medical experts are demanding that lawmakers listen to their concerns, and accepted medical best practices, before rushing through this dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ agenda," Scott added.

The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics are among the many medical groups supporting gender-affirming care for minors. A study published last year by the University of Washington found that youth who received such healthcare were 73% less likely to experience suicidality and 60% less likely to suffer from depression than minors who did not get care.

Yet GOP-led state legislatures in 2023 have already introduced more than 100 bills aimed at banning or severely limiting gender-affirming healthcare for minors, according to the ACLU, and more than a dozen states have passed laws outlawing such care.

"Each time our legislators propose laws targeting our LGBTQ+ community, they hurt our family and thousands of other families," Sarah Eyssen, a North Carolina mother of a transgender daughter, wrote in a recent Charlotte Observer opinion piece. "These bills communicate to everyone that it's okay to treat members of the LGBTQ+ community differently. It's okay to discriminate, even against a child."

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.