Nevada Bill Protects Doctors Performing ‘Gender Affirming’ Surgery On Minors

Proposed legislation in Nevada could establish it as a sanctuary for doctors who conduct gender transition procedures on minors, as well as offer protection to doctors facing charges for violating similar bans in other states.

Senate Bill 302 (SB302) would prevent healthcare licensing boards from disqualifying or disciplining doctors who conduct gender transition surgeries on minors. The bill would also prevent the state’s governor from surrendering or arresting doctors charged with violating gender modification laws in other states.

Minnesota has also recently passed legislation providing a “safe haven” for doctors who perform gender transition surgeries on minors.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee reviewed the bill on Wednesday but has not made any decisions on it yet. The committee has until April 14th to take action on the bill.

Nevada State Sen. James Ohrenschall (D) presented the bill during the hearing, arguing that gender-affirming services are medically necessary procedures and that sex is assigned at birth.

He criticized the 11 states that have banned or restricted gender transition procedures for minors, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

Ohrenschall argued, “I believe that this not only denies these individuals access to essential health care but also subjects health care providers to the risk of losing their licenses, damaging their professional reputation, and facing legal sanctions.”

During the hearing, John Phoenix, a doctor who performs gender transition surgeries on minors at the Huntridge Family Clinic, testified in support of the bill alongside Ohrenschall. Phoenix, who has been performing gender transition procedures on minors since 2015, argued that these procedures are necessary to prevent deaths in gender-dysphoric youth.

Sen. Jeff Stone (R) shared a personal story about his friend’s daughter who underwent gender transition procedures as a minor and eventually regretted it. He argued that not every child with gender dysphoria maintains that identity as they grow older, and therefore, only adults over 18 should be able to receive gender transition treatment.

“We know that not every child that has sexual dysphoria maintains that identity as they progress through puberty,” argued Stone during the hearing.

In response to Stone’s comments, Ohrenschall reiterated that decisions regarding gender transition should be made between the child, their family and their doctor.