Virginia Republican proposes total ban on youth medical transition
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia State Senator from Chesterfield County has proposed a total ban on medical transition for youth in Virginia, including provisions to remove required insurance coverage for adults.
The bill, proposed by Senator Amanda Chase , closely mirrors language in a similar Arkansas ban that was blocked earlier this year pending a final ruling by a federal court . The bill would ban the prescription of hormones and puberty blockers to trans youth, as well as any transition-related surgeries.PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Youngkin: Decisions on transition “between parents, a child and a trusted physician”
“I’ve actually been in contact with the legislator in Arkansas who passed this bill,” Chase told 8News in an interview earlier this year .
Chase added that the procedures should be banned regardless of whether parents support their child’s transition — and implied that parents who do allow their children to receive treatment are mentally ill.
“We have to protect minors, regardless of the mental state of the parents,” she said. “This is child abuse.”
Chase’s bill also targets transition care for adults with a provision that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage for the care. Under current state and federal law, denying coverage of transition care is illegal .
The Facts of the Matter
In an interview with 8News prior to filing the bill, Chase cited several statistics she argued proved that medical transition for minors was both dangerous and experimental. She claimed that between 80% and 90% of youth who transition eventually “desist” or give up int heir transition.
Chase also mentioned a statistic of 40%, but it was unclear whether she believed this was the rate of suicide among trans youth or the increase for those who undergo transition, and the Senator did not respond to a request for clarification. She also did not respond to a request that she share her sources for these statistics, and 8News could find no corroboration of her claims.PHOTOS: Rep. Donald McEachin through the years
Two studies of trans youth have shown that the rate of detransition was 2% or 2.5%, and a third found that allowing trans youth access to puberty blockers and hormones has a moderate positive effect on their mental health.
In her order halting the Arkansas ban, Judge Jane Kelly wrote that claims that gender transition treatments were dangerous would not stand up to legal scrutiny.
“There is substantial evidence to support the district court’s conclusion that the Act prohibits medical treatment that conforms with the recognized standard of care,” Judge Kelly wrote. “Even international bodies that consider hormone treatment for adolescents to be ‘experimental’ have not banned the care covered by Act 626.”
An Unfavorable Landscape
Chase’s bill is currently assigned to the Committee on Education on Health — where it will, in all likelihood, die.
That’s because the State Senate is still under the control of Virginia Democrats, who are unlikely to endorse a proposal that even Republican governor Glenn Youngkin views as too extreme .Close
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However, that may change if Republicans are able to gain control of the State senate under new electoral maps during next year’s election.
The General Assembly is set to meet for its 2023 session in January.Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.