Gov. Spencer Cox signed the hotly-debated Senate Bill 16 into law Saturday morning, restricting gender-affirming care for minors across Utah.
SB16 bans gender affirmation surgeries and places an indefinite moratorium on hormone therapies for any new transgender patients under 18 effective immediately.
“While not a perfect bill, we are grateful for Sen. [Michael] Kennedy’s more nuanced and thoughtful approach to this terribly divisive issue,” Cox said in his statement. “More and more experts, states, and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.”
A 2022 study conducted by Princeton University’s Trans Youth Project showed youth who “retransition” are infrequent – 94% identified as trans boys or girls five years after their transition and only 2.5% identified as cisgender, a person whose gender identity aligns with their sex assigned at birth.
SB16 was the focus of a protest on Jan. 24. Demonstrators argued that the bill will negatively affect transgender youth in the state, where they are already at a higher risk of suicide.