Wisconsin ban on gender care would put kids at risk, advocates say

Health care providers and LGBTQ advocates are emphasizing the need for medical services for transgender youths in Wisconsin at the same time Republican lawmakers are pushing to ban gender-affirming care.

Three GOP legislators circulated a bill Wednesday to discipline physicians who provide gender-affirming care for minors. Another group of lawmakers want a bill to create a civil cause of action for anyone who believes they were harmed by the care.

Gender-affirming care encompasses a range of health care designed to address gender dysphoria, when a person’s identity conflicts with their gender assigned at birth. The exact treatments can vary depending on age. Younger teens can receive puberty blockers that halt or delay the onset of puberty, with the goal of allowing them more time to determine their gender identity before developing certain sex characteristics, such as those associated with genitalia, hair or breasts.

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