New York City, NY — by Aarna Dixit
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
On March 1, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed state officials to start handling certain medical treatments as child abuse crimes. These medical treatments include gender-affirming care for trans children and youth. As a result, parents who provide their trans children with gender-affirming care will be penalized for it and possibly jailed or separated from their children.
Many Americans pride themselves on America’s diversity and so-called progressiveness. Yet, some Americans are still being criminalized for their identities. Parents are being criminalized for assisting their children in being who they are and professionals are being discouraged from providing gender-affirming care.
Similar bans to this one have been proposed over the past few years, with Arkansas trying to enact a ban on gender-affirming care last year, which was fortunately blocked by the federal courts. Supporters of these bans continue to exaggerate and twist the negative impacts of surgical procedures on children to fit their transphobic agendas. Gender-affirming care is safe and medically approved, yet it is being portrayed as detrimental to children’s health. But what is actually detrimental to the physical and mental health of trans youth is being denied the right to change their bodies to match their gender identity. They are trapped in a body with a gender that they don’t identify with. The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical and professional organizations have condemned these attacks on trans people, indicating that from a medical standpoint, these claims are simply not valid.
From abortion to gender-affirming care, it’s interesting to see how government officials will take advantage of their power to control human bodies, to outlaw care that is medically approved and truly harms no one. Healthcare is a global, human right, but apparently not in America. The slogan “my body, my choice” has been used mostly for sexual violence and abortion justice advocacy, but it applies to this scenario as well. Trans youth — and subsequently their parents — deserve every right to access the healthcare they need to affirm their gender identities. It’s their body, their choice — at least it should be.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.