Legislation seeking to criminalize or otherwise prevent the provision of gender-affirming care for transgender adolescents is on the rise. This Viewpoint describes these laws and explains why they are harmful and potentially unlawful.
Transgender adolescents are those whose gender identity (ie, their psychological sense of their own gender) is incongruent with their sex assigned at birth.1 According to a 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.8% of 118 803 surveyed adolescents in the United States identified as transgender.2 In this same study, approximately 35% of transgender adolescents reported having attempted suicide, highlighting the importance of the mental health concerns affecting this population.2
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Turban JL, Kraschel KL, Cohen IG. Legislation to Criminalize Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Youth. JAMA. 2021;325(22):2251–2252. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.7764
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