Montana Judge Blocks Enforcement of Law to Ban Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Minors
Amy Beth Hanson READ TIME: 1 MIN.
A law to ban gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors in Montana is temporarily banned, a state judge ruled Wednesday, just four days before it was to take effect.
District Court Judge Jason Marks agreed with transgender youth, their families and healthcare providers that a law passed by the 2023 Montana Legislature is unconstitutional and would harm the mental and physical health of minors with gender dysphoria.
The temporary restraining order blocking the law would remain in effect until a full trial can be held on the issue, but Marks has said he expects his decision on the injunction will be appealed to the Montana Supreme Court.
Montana is one of at least 22 states that have enacted bans on gender-affirming medical care for minors and most face lawsuits. Some bans have been temporarily blocked by courts, while others have been allowed to take effect.
All the laws ban gender-affirming surgery for minors. Such procedures are rare, with fewer than 3,700 performed in the U.S. on patients ages 12 to 18 from 2016 through 2019, according to a study published last month. It's not clear how many of those patients were 18 when they underwent surgery.
The story has been corrected to show the ruling happed on Wednesday, not Tuesday.