Arizona State Senate approves bill that bans gender reassignment surgery for minors

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The Arizona Senate has voted to prohibit gender reassignment surgeries for minors.

Republicans approved the measure in a 16-12 party-line vote on Thursday. It’s a scaled back version of an earlier proposal that failed in a Senate committee, which would have banned a broader array of gender-affirming health care, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

Advocates for transgender youth say decisions about health care should be left to children, their parents and their doctors. Supporters of the legislation say teenagers shouldn’t undergo irreversible surgeries.

Sen. Tyler Pace, a Mesa Republican, cast the decisive vote to kill the original measure in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee earlier this month. He supported the scaled back version on Thursday, which he said was in line with standards of care from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.

The bill would ban irreversible gender reassignment surgeries for patients under age 18, except in cases of medical emergency or a verifiable sex development disorder.

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