Arizona medical professionals could face prison under potential legislation that bans gender-confirming procedures for transgender teens.
According to a report from the AZ Mirror, Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers proposed the Senate Bill 1045, which would make transgender health care for minors illegal.
Under the legislation, doctors would be unable to perform gender-affirming surgeries or prescribe testosterone or estrogen for trans youth under the age of 18.
If any medical staff are caught providing these health care services they will be hit with a Class four felony – which could lead to a three-year prison sentence.
The anti-trans bill also targets schools and their teachers and administrators.
If a minor opens up about their gender identity with a staff member, the latter would be required to report the conversation to the child’s parents or guardian.
The bill has since been condemned by activists and Arizona residents including Ryan Starzyck, a board member for the LGBTQ+ group Phoenix Pride.
“It is dangerous,” he told the AZ Mirror. “It is deadly because if (children) don’t have the foundational information, if they have nobody they can turn and oftentimes is the only one they can turn to is the professional at school before, (the legislature) is laying the foundation for students suicides.”
Rogers isn’t the only lawmaker to propose bills that target the transgender community.
In 2021, 33 states introduced over 100 anti-trans bills to marginalise the community even further, particularly when it comes to transgender individuals in sports.
Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Montana, and West Virginia are seven states that have enacted a total of twelve anti-transgender laws this session.
Numerous organisations like The Human Rights Campaign and ACLU have condemned the bills and have even filed lawsuits against some states.
Political figures have also spoken out against the archaic laws including former US president Barack Obama.
In a June interview with The Advocate, he said it “breaks” his heart to see Republican lawmakers attempt to win over voters by targeting the transgender community.
“For many years now, we’ve seen some Republicans seek political advantage by pitting us against one another, often by going after certain groups of people who just want equal treatment,” said Obama.
“I can’t imagine how difficult it is for young people to know that some leaders — including people who are supposed to be representing you — don’t think they deserve equal rights.
“It breaks my heart. This is not who we are. America has always been at its best when we open our arms wider and help more people feel like they belong — not treat them like second-class citizens because they’re different.”