Thursday, March 23, 2023


A proposed flavored tobacco ban is back on the table in Minnesota, Trump attorney Evan Corcoran must testify in the documents probe, and a "clean slate" bill in Missouri would make "expungement" automatic.


The Fed raises interest rates and reassures the banking system is sound, Norfolk Southern reaffirms a commitment to the people of East Palestine, and TikTok creators gather at the Capitol to support free expression.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

UT Ban on Gender-Affirming Health Care Draws Pushback


Monday, February 6, 2023   

A group of physicians is voicing opposition to Utah's enactment of Senate Bill 16, banning gender-affirming health care for transgender youth.

The American Academy of Pediatrics' Utah chapter said politics do not belong in the exam room or in the decision-making process between providers, patients and families. The group is concerned the new law could endanger the physical and mental health of some young Utahns.

Dr. Ellie Brownstein, president of the chapter, said transgender youth are already in a high-risk population needing appropriate and adequate care. She fears lawmakers have diminished doctors' ability to offer it.

"I've already heard from one family who has set up care in an outside state, so that their child can get the care that they feel like they need," Brownstein reported. "That's not available to everybody, so you do have a whole group that will not have that as an option."

The law is one of many similar measures conservative states have passed to restrict this kind of care. Brownstein explained most transgender youth go through a gradual transition. It is not until puberty or later they may consider hormone therapy, puberty blockers or surgery. She fears the new law will lead some to seek alternative forms of care online.

The Utah law bars all minors from receiving gender-affirming surgeries, and places an indefinite moratorium on kids under 18 receiving puberty blockers or hormone therapy. Supporters of the bill say long-term research in this medical field is lacking. Brownstein's group also wants to see more research, but added it must be conducted in ways to support transgender youth instead of invalidating them.

"I get the impression of these stories I hear of, like, I walked in and said, 'I think I'm male, not female,' and someone said, 'Cool, here are your hormones, go home.' And I would say the process is nothing like that," Brownstein asserted. "It involves psychology, it involves time."

Studies have shown gender-affirming care for youth can reduce emotional distress, improve overall well-being and reduce the risk of suicide. In Utah, civil rights groups have already said they plan to challenge the law in court.

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