Sunday, July 21, 2024

Legislation limiting transgender healthcare and sports participation makes headway in Raleigh

The North Carolina General Assembly is advancing two bills restricting transgender sports participation and healthcare. (Courtesy Pexels)

Two Republican bills focusing on transgender rights are moving through the North Carolina General Assembly in the twilight of this year’s long session.

READ MORE: General Assembly passes trans athlete restrictions, could be veto-proof

The latest version of House Bill 574, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, has been enrolled and awaits final approval from the governor. The legislation would ban transgender women and girls from participating in interscholastic women’s sports in middle and high schools, private and public, along with colleges and universities.

The Senate and House passed differing versions of the bill in April, but the two chambers just conferred on the final version on Thursday. One version only applied to middle and high schools, while H.B. 574 applies to higher education as well.

The latest amendment removed proposed restrictions on male sports teams, which would ban female kickers on football teams. The amendment also removed proposed restrictions on collegiate intramural sports, as they do not involve scholarships.

The state board of education and the UNC System board of governors are charged with overseeing compliance with the law. Students “deprived of an athletic opportunity or suffers or is likely to suffer from any direct or indirect harm” may fie for injunctive relief or damages.

While the House bill is the one being submitted to the governor, language prohibiting transition surgery on transgender minors has been transplanted into the Senate version, S.B. 631.

The legislation states “it shall be unlawful for a public healthcare facility, or a health care provider employed by or under contract with a public healthcare facility, to perform a surgical gender transition procedure on a minor or to provide or dispense puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to a minor.”

Providers would be able to provide this care under the following circumstances:

  • if the minor has a medically verified sex disorder
  • if the minor has a sexual development disorder
  • to treat complications arising from a previous transition procedure
  • breast reductions due to physical disorder
  • to treat a physiological condition
  • to prevent imminent danger of death or impairment of a major bodily function

S.B. 631 also stipulates no state funds may be used for any for the “performance of or furtherance of” surgical gender transition procedures. The cannot be used to provide puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to a minor, or to support the administration of any governmental health plan or government-offered insurance policy offering surgical gender transition procedures, puberty-blocking drugs, or cross-sex hormones to a minor.

On Thursday, the bill was moved to the Senate rules committee, where it awaits a spot on the calendar.

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