On March 30th, Governor Doug Ducey signed S.B. 1138 into law which prohibits any gender affirming surgery on individuals under the age of 18 years old.
Also referred to as the “Arizona’s Children Deserve Help Not Harm Act”, this bill restricts not only top surgery and bottom surgery for transgender individuals but also ancillary gender related procedures such as liposuction, lipofilling, facial feminization, hair transplants, thyroid cartilage reduction and voice modifications.
This law in no way prohibits any gender affirming and related procedures in individuals who are considered by law to be adults – those 18 years of age and older.
In supporting this bill and signing it into law, Governor Ducey stated:
“S.B. 1138 delays any irreversible gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18. The reason is simple, and common sense — this is a decision that will dramatically affect the rest of an individual’s life, including the ability of that individual to become a biological parent later in life.
Distinguishing between an adult and a child in law, as this bill does, is not unique. Throughout law, children are protected from making irreversible decisions, including buying certain products or participating in activities that can have lifelong health implications. These decisions should be made when an individual reaches adulthood.”
In summing up his support, he wrote:
“The irreversible nature of these procedures underscores why such a decision should be made as an adult, not as a child, and further supports the importance of this legislation.”
For a variety of reasons, this law will take effect in one year – starting March 31, 2023.
Hopefully, the above clarifies the changes covered by S.B. 1138 and clears up any misinterpretations or misrepresentations.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona