Iowa, What Are We Doing?


The Des Moines Register

Photo of protesters showing support for Iowa’s transgender youth in light of recent governmental changes.

Jersey Bilyeu, Writer

In November of 2022, Governor Kim Reynolds used her last campaign to attack Iowa’s transgender youth – and now Iowa is living through the repercussions.

As of March 22, 2023, Iowa lawmakers have passed Senate File 538, “an Act relating to prohibited activities regarding gender transition procedures relative to minors, and including effective date and applicability provisions.”

This bill will prohibit doctors from providing hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgeries to minors, even with the consent of parents and doctors.

Hormone therapy treatments such as puberty blockers, which are used to temporarily stop the puberty cycle in children and cross-sex hormone therapy (also known as hormone replacement therapy, HRT), medications used to alter a person’s secondary sexual characteristics to their gender identity. 

Reynolds claims “these are irreversible therapies and procedures” despite Iowa doctors testifying to lawmakers that puberty blockers are fully reversible and HRT is partially reversible. 

Cathryn Oakley, Senior Legal Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, states that this type of medical care is always delivered with the consent of parents, the child and their doctors. “Iowa legislators have no business telling parents that their children can’t access best practice care — that is, in many cases, lifesaving — that is supported by the entire mainstream American medical establishment,” Oakley said.

Unfortunately, what’s been found is more concerning. The Des Moines Register found that 52% of Iowan voters support this ban on gender-affirming procedures. While 54% also supported the two bills introduced in January, that prevent the education of queer issues

Iowa has a larger population of its voters who can’t see the problems with this legislation and fail to see the future consequences. If Iowa continues on the track of extremely homophobic and transphobic ideals, we may never recover. 

As young generations become of voter age, we must, must, elect officials who do their research and no longer promote a regressed way of thinking.

Queer youth are suffering – and they will suffer more if these types of laws, bills and files keep getting passed.