As of noon Friday, March 10, legislation to ban gender-affirming care for minors has been passed by the Iowa Legislature and is ready for Gov. Kim Reynolds to sign. She is expected to sign the bill at any time now. 

The following statement can be attributed to Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa Executive Director:

"It would be simply wrong for Gov. Reynolds to sign a law that will have devastating consequences for many children and their families in our state. 

"This is not the first time that a government has abused its power at the expense of a small group of people. But in this case the target is children. That is shameful and cruel.

"It should be parents, doctors, and mental health professionals who make these decisions—not politicians trying to score political points by throwing transgender kids under the bus. 

"Parents of transgender children are doing their level best to keep their kids alive. These parents deserve every tool at their disposal to create a future for their children. That should include the option of gender-affirming care, which is endorsed by every major medical association. 

"Because of the toxic, unaccepting climate society has created for transgender people, suicide rates among transgender teens are terrifying. A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that more than half of transgender male teens had attempted suicide and 30 percent of transgender female teens said they'd attempted suicide.1 Politicians pushing this bill said they think transgender teens might regret getting gender-affirming care when they're older. Studies don't support that.2 And it begs the point: If a transgender teen doesn't make it to adulthood, it won't matter.

"We are already hearing from families—who can afford it—who say they are making plans to move out of state or move their transgender teen out of state. 

"These parents know their kids deserve the chance to live well and be happy. But Gov. Reynolds has made these very kids and their families a target and has taken away their rights. She has decided to use the power of the state to hurt the very parents and kids who need our support. 

"Let’s be clear. A law that can take away the future from the most vulnerable kids is a deeply unjust law. Gov. Reynolds’ choice to sign this bill is an event from which too many Iowa children and families will not recover."