Red state bans on child sex-change procedures may soon face powerful challenges from Democrat-controlled “gender-surgery sanctuary” states.
A new Colorado law entitled Protections for Accessing Reproductive Health Care is the latest to include legal shields for patients and providers of “gender-affirming health-care services,” noting those are part of “legally protected health-care activity in this state.”
The signing of SB 23-188 by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis on April 14 was greeted with cheers.
Gonzalez was joined by one of the law’s most outspoken advocates as it moved through the Colorado General Assembly, Rep. Brianna Titone, one of 10 primary sponsors and 50 co-sponsors, all Democrats.
Titone, the majority caucus co-chair, is a biological man and is self-described on Facebook as “Colorado’s first openly trans” representative. The Epoch Times reached out to Titone and Gonzalez, but did not receive a response.
The new law makes Colorado a child gender-surgery sanctuary. States with similar laws include Washington, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and New Mexico.
the law offers extensive protections to health care providers and their patients, looking for “reproductive health care or gender-affirming health-care services” that don’t violate Colorado law.
It doesn’t note any restrictions on child sex-change procedures.
If a child seeking sex-change procedures travels to Colorado from a state where gender surgery for minors is illegal, the state won’t extradite doctors performing the procedures to the child’s other state, the new law says.
Colorado also won’t put the doctor on trial, issue a search warrant, impose legal punishment, or allow wire taps to collect evidence.
Further, a doctor performing child sex-change procedures or abortions in Colorado receives legal protection from having medical malpractice insurance canceled or having premiums hiked for performing procedures that may be unlawful in other states.
The law also says the health professional can’t have payment from health insurance refused, have credentialing by health insurance companies refused, or have a medical license removed for performing the procedures.
The law also bans criminal and civil charges against Colorado providers for performing child sex-change procedures.
States that ban child sex-change procedures have laws that punish providers performing the procedures, not the child. By protecting the doctor, Colorado has established that any minor able to travel there can legally obtain treatments
The governor celebrated the bill in a press release.
“I’m proud to sign these pro-freedom laws to further uphold Colorado’s value of protecting access to reproductive health care,” Polis said. “I deeply thank Colorado’s legislature for sending these bills to my desk and was proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the bill sponsors today, because here in Colorado, we value individual freedoms and we stand up to protect them.”
Sex Change State by State
As radical gender ideology spreads, some states have taken steps to protect children from making permanent sex-change decisions.
A burgeoning medical industry has marketed and offered irreversible puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, breast amputations, breast creation, and genital surgery to increasingly young children who say they are transgender.
All these measures have devastating permanent effects on the bodies of patients. Infertility, loss of bone density, blood clots, joint pain, and loss of sexual function are potential side effects of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, experts have told The Epoch Times.
Some girls as young as 15 have had their breasts removed in hopes of closer physical alignment to their desired male “gender identity.”
Increasing numbers of children have made these choices. About half a percent of U.S. adults say they are transgender, research shows. Almost three times as many children identify as transgender.
Research also shows that about 80 percent of children who feel uncomfortable with their gender eventually grow out of their discomfort.
So far, 14 states have reacted to this boom in transgenderism by banning the use of child sex-change surgeries and treatments, such as cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers, to treat gender dysphoria.
But other states see these moves as attacks on transgender children.
According to LGBT groups like the Human Rights Campaign, accepting children’s chosen gender identity is essential to their mental health.
“In other words, for some transgender youth, family support can be the difference between life and death,” the Human Rights Campaign states on its website.
Sanctuaries Thwart Local Bans
The new Colorado law also creates a sanctuary state for abortion.
National statistics on abortion suggest that “sanctuary state” policies are highly effective at limiting the impact of local bans on medical procedures.
Though 13 states have abortion bans in place, the number of abortions have only dropped from about 987,000 annually to 924,000, a decline of about 7 percent, according to statistics from the pro-abortion Society for Family Planning.
But those numbers aren’t universally accepted as accurate, and the actual number of abortions performed in the United States is a matter of controversy, says Laura Echevarria, the director of communications for the pro-life National Right to Life.
Cities also have declared themselves sanctuaries for abortion, Echevarria said.
“So many people don’t recognize or don’t see the development of the unborn child in the same way,” she said.
Florida saw an influx of out-of-state residents traveling there for abortions, after surrounding states passed abortion laws more restrictive than Florida’s ban after 15 weeks’ gestation.
Florida lawmakers recently passed a bill to ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. It was quickly signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“They no longer wanted to be the abortion, tourism capital of the Southeast,” Echevarria said.
States across the country are considering similar legislation, while others seek to protect unfettered access to abortion. The Constitution has room for states to pass radically different laws, she said.
National Right to Life hopes to end taxpayer-funded abortion and push for the passage of pro-life laws state by state, she said.
State bans have little effect, she said, when getting past them is as easy as taking a road trip.