How Republican Lawmakers Are Using Custody Threats to Eliminate Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Kids
Attacks on gender-affirming care in the U.S. have escalated significantly in recent months, as an increasing number of states move to ban or severely limit necessary and life-saving medical care for trans and non-binary youth. At least eight states—including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah—have completely outlawed or severely restricted gender-affirming care for minors, while lawmakers in 23 other states are currently considering a host of similar bills, some of which attempt to criminalize this care by making it a felony for healthcare providers.
According to New York City-based marriage and family law attorney Brett Ward, the UCCJEA does give state courts emergency jurisdiction in extreme exceptions, like in the case of people fleeing domestic violence. While the bill does not compare domestic violence to gender-affirming care, Ward says that the bill would essentially be “equating that limited doctrine and expanding it,” by allowing gender-affirming care to be considered an emergency circumstance and not respecting other states’ orders.
"How Lawmakers Are Using Custody Threats to Eliminate Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Kids," by Catherine Caruso was published in Xtra Magazine on March 30, 2023.