Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador

SCOTUS Lifts Injunction on Idaho Law Protecting Kids from Experimental Surgery and Drug Treatments

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Press Release from the Office of the Attorney General of Idaho

BOISE, Idaho – Last Monday our office received an encouraging decision from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). In February, my office filed an emergency application to SCOTUS asking them to lift the injunction on Idaho’s Vulnerable Child Protection Act, which prohibited hormone blockers and gender reassignment surgeries for minor children. The injunction was placed by a lower court and then affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 6-3 decision, SCOTUS granted our request to lift the broad injunction and allowed the law to proceed as passed as to all children in Idaho (except for the two plaintiffs) while the case is working its way through the court process. 

With the injunction lifted, the law takes effect immediately protecting Idaho’s kids from experimental, unproven surgeries and drug treatments to block hormones and healthy human development. Even though the case is still ongoing, SCOTUS reined in the lower court judge by holding that the original ruling overstepped acceptable boundaries.

Some in the medical community continue to expose vulnerable children to risky and dangerous medical procedures that have lifelong, irreversible consequences, while more and more minors continue to express their regret for taking this path. Just think – if a child had anorexia and believed they were overweight, any psychologist affirming their belief, calling them fat, and prescribing them diet pills and a gastric bypass, would lose their license. 

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador

A long-term study from the Netherlands released earlier this month confirmed the vast majority of children experiencing gender dysphoria grow out of it. The study followed 2700 kids from age 11 through their mid 20’s. It found that by age 25 only 4 percent of the individuals in the study expressed continued gender dysphoria. The study’s authors noted, “The fact that rates of gender [dis]satisfaction are lower even just a few years later suggests that for the vast majority of people, prudence and caution, rather than a rush towards permanent surgeries or hormone therapies, will be the best approach for teenagers struggling to make sense of the world and their place in it.”

Unfortunately, gender dysphoria diagnoses have skyrocketed in the United States. In 2017, there were 15,172 new diagnoses.  In 2021, there were 42,167. That’s a 278 percent increase in just five years. It seems more than reasonable to question why. Children don’t have the ability to consent to and discern long-term consequences for actions. That’s why kids can’t buy liquor, guns, or cigarettes, sign contracts, vote, take out a loan, or get married. 

But somehow, society has declared that it is reasonable for kids to be prescribed hormone blockers and get surgeries to change their genders, often after just a single medical consultation. Accommodating doctors and parents continue to rush to “affirm” whatever perception these vulnerable and confused kids have about themselves, instead of counseling or working to improve their overall mental health. Studies are showing that many underlying mental health conditions like depression and anxiety simply don’t improve with “gender affirming care” and remain stubbornly present even with surgeries and hormonal treatments. 

I will always fight to protect our vulnerable kids. Children suffering from gender dysphoria need love and support, not to be pushed into experimental surgeries and drugs that can cause irreparable, irreversible harm. In our hurry to appear compassionate and accepting, many have ignored the greatest parental obligation of all – to guide and love our children just the way they are – so when they are adults, they can make good choices.