Supreme Court urged to allow Idaho's ban on sex change surgeries for minors to take effect

The state capitol building of Idaho.
The state capitol building of Idaho. | Public Domain

Idaho is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow the state's law banning hormonal and surgical gender interventions for minors to take effect after a lower court blocked the measure.

Idaho's Republican Attorney General Raul Labrador filed an emergency motion in conjunction with the law firms Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk, his office announced Monday.

The motion asks the Supreme Court to narrow an order from the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho preventing the Vulnerable Child Protection Act from taking effect to cover only the challengers. 

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Passed in April 2023, the legislation prohibits the performance of gender transition procedures on youth with gender dysphoria, including body-altering surgeries and use of hormone-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones. The parents of two trans-identified youths sued to get the law struck down. 

Labrador insisted in the statement that "the state has a duty to protect and support all children" from "the devastating consequences of drugs and procedures used on children with gender dysphoria." 

"I'm proud to defend Idaho's law that ensures children are not subjected to these life-altering drugs and procedures," he said.

"Those suffering gender dysphoria deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality. Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids. No one has the right to harm children, and thankfully, we as the state have the power — and duty — to protect them."

District Judge B. Lynn Winmill, a Clinton appointee, issued a preliminary injunction late last year striking down the law as litigation against it continues. 

"As matters currently stand, doctors decide — based on a widely accepted standard of care — whether puberty blockers, hormones, and other treatments are appropriate for any particular patient," wrote Winmill.

"[The Act] would not only prevent doctors from acting in accordance with that standard of care; it would subject them to felony charges and a potential 10-year prison sentence. Again, that does not serve the State's interest in protecting Idaho's youth; it harms them."

The state unsuccessfully asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the law to take effect as legal proceedings continue. 

The American College of Pediatricians contends that gender transition procedures, which may include the use of puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones, can present "harm" to minors.

The group lists "osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment" and sterility as possible side effects of puberty blockers. As for cross-sex hormones, also given to trans-identified youth, potential long-term implications include "an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan."

In 2022, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association and the American Psychiatric Association released a joint statement denouncing state-level efforts to "criminalize gender-affirming care" for young people.

"Patients, including youth, must be able to discuss gender-affirming care with their trusted physician to determine together what care is best for them. All patients must have access to evidence-based health care, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation," they stated. 

Idaho is one of 23 states that have enacted bans on some or all forms of gender transition procedures for minors. The others are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia. 

A whistleblower who formerly worked at a clinic that provided gender transition procedures for minors recounted last year how an underage girl prescribed testosterone experienced severe bleeding and a vaginal laceration while another girl had her clitoris transform into a "tiny penis" that "chafed and rubbed painfully in her jeans."

The long-term effects of gender transition surgeries, which result in the removal of healthy body parts that align with an individual's biological sex and the creation of synthetic body parts that correspond with their stated gender identity, have also received particular attention in recent years.

Chloe Cole, a detransitioner who once identified as a boy and underwent gender transition procedures as a minor, filed a lawsuit in February 2023 against medical providers involved in her surgical intervention. 

She alleges that the double mastectomy she underwent as a teenager caused her to experience suicidal thoughts and left her with "deep physical and emotional wounds, severe regrets, and distrust of the medical system."

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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