England Bans Puberty Blockers For Minors

England Bans Puberty Blockers For Minors

The National Health Service (NHS) of England has banned the prescription of puberty blockers for individuals under the age of 18.

Puberty blockers are hormonal treatments most often prescribed to transgender or gender questioning individuals to halt the process of adolescent development. The ban, which ensures no child will have access to puberty blockers even with the permission of their parent or guardian, has been met with ample backlash from the transgender community in the U.K. and around the world. 

This is just one effect of the NHS’s recent call for an independent review of gender identity treatments, which commissioned Dr. Hilary Cass in 2020 to conduct an evaluation over the past four years. Following the release of the official report, England has been swept up in a slew of new regulations for professional gender affirming care. 

In 2022, an interim report from the evaluation indicated a “lack of consensus and open dialogue” about gender dysphoria while questioning how medical professionals should handle these cases, according to reports from Forbes. 

In the official evaluation, Cass questions the quality of treatment being provided to minors with gender dysphoria and the practices of facilities offering care. Her qualms join a global debate on gender affirming care for minors.

Across the United States, LGBTQIA+ individuals, families and groups have been fighting for access to proper health care for years, as conservative lawmakers pass state laws limiting services for both minors and adults. Studies have shown that without access to proper gender affirming care, trans and nonbinary children and teens are at greater risk for mental health issues such as depression or suicidal thoughts and ideations. 

Also in recent months, the U.K.’s former Prime Minister Liz Truss, called on the government to support a bill that would abolish the private sale of puberty blockers.

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