Legislative committee advances bill concerning gender-affirming surgeries

Oct 20, 2022, 3:30 PM | Updated: Oct 21, 2022, 8:03 am
UT capitol pictured. The legislature just approved funding for affordable housing...
FILE - The Utah State Capitol is pictured on February 7, 2022 in Salt Lake City. (KSL NewsRadio)
(KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Health and Human Services Interim Committee has voted to advance a bill prohibiting minors diagnosed with gender dysmorphia from undergoing gender-affirming surgeries. Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, proposed the bill. He said he does not want to stop gender-affirming surgeries but argues that those decisions should be made as adults.

“One of the components I think is important to recognize is that we are not forbidding these individuals from pursuing transgender care,” said Kennedy. “What we’re saying is that minors with the immutable change or permanent change associated with surgery, that they should not be allowed to do that until they’ve reached the age of maturity.”

Rep. Suzanne Harrison, D-SaltLake, opposes the bill. She brought up the concern of the potential double-standard for parental rights in these situations, since, under this bill, doctors could potentially turn minors away from certain procedures, like breast augmentations, if they have had that kind of diagnosis, but not those who haven’t or are seeking the procedure for another purpose.

“The state was not in that clinic being part of that decision between the patient, the parents, and the doctor,” said Harrison. “And yet, in this identical procedure, you’re seeking to put the government in that clinic visit.”

Other opponents are concerned with the legal challenges that could come with the bill’s passage. Arizona, Arkansas, and Alabama have passed similar legislation. But only Arkansas has faced a legal challenge. 

Alejandro Lucero contributed to this report. 


Today’s Top Stories


FILE - A Montana man was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the Capitol riot. (AP P...
The Associated Press

Montana man gets 3 years in prison for role in Capitol riot

A Montana man will spend three years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
2 days ago
Dozens of residents were displaced after fire at a low income apartment complex in Richfield, Utah....
Mark Jones

American Red Cross of Utah seeks volunteers in central Utah

The American Red Cross of Utah is seeking volunteers in central Utah after a fire in Richfield earlier this week displaced 35 families.
2 days ago
On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted me...
Waverly Golden

Thanksgiving Day donations and volunteering

On Thanksgiving Day, Crave Cookies donated to the Utah County Jail and The Salvation Army hosted meal preparation and delivery to Utah families.
2 days ago
Gail Halvorsen, the Berlin Candy Bomber, poses for a photo in the backyard of his Provo home days b...
Waverly Golden

Utahn helps non-profit with modern day “Candy Bomber” operation

In memory of "The Candy Bomber," a fundraiser hopes to supply Christmas presents to refugee children in Berlin and Ukraine.
4 days ago
A duck swims in the pond at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. Photo credi...
Mark Jones

Pond at Liberty Park drained for necessary repairs

The pond at Liberty Park has been drained for needed repairs. It is expected repairs on the pond should be completed by the end of December.
5 days ago
FILE: Former President Donald Trump, seen here on May 28, filed his paperwork on November 15 establ...

Garland names special counsel to lead Trump-related probes

The special counsel announced on Friday will oversee the investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Legislative committee advances bill concerning gender-affirming surgeries