West Virginia's Republican governor on
Wednesday signed a bill that bans gender-affirming care for minors.
Governor Jim Justice quietly signed the
bill into law without issuing an official statement.
The law prohibits minors from being
prescribed hormone therapy and puberty blockers. However, it includes
an exemption for teenagers who are considered at risk for self-harm
Senate Majority Leader Tom Takubo, a
Republican and a physician, had called for the exemption.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBTQ rights advocate, condemned Justice for signing
the bill, saying that his actions are “dangerous, discriminatory,
and just another example of politicians in positions of power abusing
their authority to cater to extreme elements of their base –
harming the children of West Virginia in the process.”
West Virginia joins a growing list of
states that restrict or ban gender-affirming care for minors,
including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee,
Utah, South Dakota, and Kentucky.
The law is expected to take effect in