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West Virginia governor signs ban on gender-affirming care

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West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during the State of the State Address on Feb. 10, 2021. | Chris Jackson/AP Photo By Associated Press 03/29/2023 07:42 PM EDT Link CopiedCHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Republican Gov.

Jim Justice on Wednesday signed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors, joining at least 10 other states that have enacted laws restricting or outlawing medically supported treatments for transgender youth.The bill outlaws those under 18 from being prescribed hormone therapy and fully reversible puberty blockers.

It also bans minors from receiving gender-affirming surgery, something physicians say doesn’t even happen in West Virginia.Unlike measures passed in other states, however, West Virginia’s law contains a unique exemption: It permits doctors to prescribe medical therapy if a teenager is considered at risk for self-harm or suicide.

Florida By Arek Sarkissian Under the law, which will take effect in January 2024, a patient can be prescribed puberty blockers and hormone therapy after receiving parental consent and a diagnosis of severe gender dysphoria from two doctors, including a mental health provider.Gender dysphoria is defined by medical professionals as severe psychological distress experienced by those whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.Lawmakers in West Virginia and other states moving to enact bans on transgender health care for youth and young adults often characterize gender-affirming treatments as medically unproven, potentially dangerous in the long term and a symptom of “woke” culture.Every major medical organization, including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association, supports

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