Montana Legislature Considering two bills targeting Transgender Youth
Representative John Fuller (R), a conservative Montana Legislator has introduced two unrelated anti-transgender bills that he hopes will pass during the 2021 legislative session. MT HB113 targets healthcare and the other, MT HB112 if enacted bar transgender girls from woman’s intermural sports.
It’s bad enough that neither bill is rooted in science and both are strongly opposed by state healthcare professions. It’s offensive that Rep. John Fuller pushes this anti-trans legislation which he has no expertise in.
It’s criminal that Rep. Fuller is doing this while fully aware of the trans girl he said he wrote it to stop attempted to take her life in Highschool when she was denied the opportunity to compete with the other girls.
The Montana High School Association hamepsre has a link to the “Letter from the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics” but it is not working.
This article presents both bills and offers to educate presenting information from the healthcare profesion which opposes it for obvious reasons.
- House Bill 112 would ban trans feminine identifying students from participating in girls intermural sports.
- House Bill 113 would fiscally penalize doctors who are currently or in the future provide gender-affirming healthcare to minors.
Fuller acknowledged in an interview with Montana Sports.com that there isn’t any reason to target trans athletes at the moment, but why wait?
“I’m introducing this bill to save women’s sports,” Fuller said in a phone interview with MTN. “The reality is that we’re not going to be dealing with a lot of massive numbers of transgender sports, but … the injustice of young women being denied athletic opportunity is enough to warrant such a bill.”
HB 112 would affect more than just Montana’s high schools, though, and Fuller cited one of Montana’s notable college athletes. June Eastwood made history in 2019 as the first male-to-female transgender athlete to compete in an NCAA Division I cross country race, and then won the mile at the 2020 Big Sky Conference women’s indoor track and field championships.
MT HB113 titled “Provide for youth health protection” introduced on January 5, 2021, by Rep Fuller(R) would rob 54 transgender minors of gender-affirming care they are currently receiving . The only justification that Fuller offered in the bill was that it would save the state approx $60,000 this fiscal year.
All 130 members of the Montana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics oppose HB 113.
Would prohibit doctors from prescribing puberty-suppressing drugs to youth 18 years old or cross-sex hormones to a minor to treat gender dysphoria.
Dr. Lauren Wilson, vice president of the Montana chapter, believes the bill is based in fear, not fact, and said knowing more about care for trans youth could reduce some of the stigma.
For starters, therapy before puberty doesn’t involve medication and instead focuses on letting a child express themselves how they choose.
“At the onset of puberty, that comes a time for re-evaluation with the patient and the family and decision-making together about maybe starting a puberty-suppressing medication called a blocker, which is completely reversible, but allows the patient and the family time to kind of assess where they are,” Wilson explained.
Wilson noted trans youth have high rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts because of the feeling that they’re not in the right body. But she noted those rates go down if young people are affirmed, especially from an early age.
Another provision under HB113 prohibits “.. gender reassignment surgery on a minor to treat gender dysphoria” or to “remove any otherwise healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue of a minor to treat gender dysphoria.”
Representative John Fuller, the sole sponsor of the bill offers no justification for the bill other than fiscal.