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Currently, there are at least 44 anti-trans bills in process in the United States. Most of these bills target the health and safety of transgender youth and allow doctors and emergency medical technician (EMT) workers to deny healthcare services based on religious beliefs. Anti-trans bills that involve sports participation actively target trans girls and women. 

Recently, Arkansas passed a bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to trans youth (Bill HB 1570). The bill’s official and misleading title is “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act.” The bill’s wording purposefully frames gender-affirming surgery and medical care as malicious surgical experimentation. This decision ignores dozens of local doctors, national medical experts, as well as trans youth and their parents who have testified that gender-affirming medical care is life-saving healthcare. At the time, Governor Hutchinson vetoed the bill; however, the Arkansas senate legislature overrode the veto and made it into Act 626. It is the first bill in the nation to target trans health care. The American Civil Liberties Union has publicly stated its defense for trans youth and is currently preparing litigation and plans to take the state to court. 

Even democratic states have anti-trans bills in progress; New Jersey has the bill “Fairness in Women's Sports Act '' (S3540) in committee since March 11th, 2021. This bill requires that participation in school-sanctioned sports be based on biological sex at birth. The bill also prohibits any athletic teams or sports designated for females, women, or girls from being open to trans girls and trans women. In the event the sex of a student is disputed, the student will present a signed physician's statement that indicates the student's sex, based solely on:

  1. The student's internal and external reproductive anatomy.

  2. The student's levels of testosterone.

  3. An analysis of the student's genetic makeup.

In short, the bill dictates trans youth’s identity to their biological sex and discriminates against trans girls and trans women. 

Governor Hutchinson of Arkansas and Governor Little from Idaho have signed the “Fairness in Women's Sports Act” into law. These can be considered precedent cases to expedite the process of signing the bill into law in the state of New Jersey. Which leads to the question: What can we do to stop the bill? We can contact state senators and local representatives about the anti-trans bills. Voice your frustrations and urge them to vote no and veto the bills. 

Voicemail and email template:

Hello, my name is [name], and I am calling/emailing about the bill [Bill # and name]. As a member of the community, I urge you [senator/rep name] to vote no on the bill, so it does not become law. This bill will significantly impact trans youth and individuals for the worse, both physically and mentally. Trans youth deserve to be safe and supported, and this bill does the opposite. I once again urge you to vote no on the bill. 

Website to locate your senator’s contact information: www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

Trans youth and individuals deserve to feel safe and supported in their homes, in schools, and in our communities. 

For more information about other anti-trans bills in progress, please visit the following website: bit.ly/anti-trans-legislation to learn more about anti-trans legislation in the United States. 

 

Angie Tamayo is a junior at The College of New Jersey. She studies English and Secondary Education with a Social Justice minor. During her free time she enjoys binge-watching shows, playing with her pet beagle, and painting horrible portraits.
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