An Illinois Republican has found a new way to punish doctors for providing health care for patients.
Instead of going against the ones who provide abortions, State Rep. Thomas Morrison wants to make it a crime for a doctor to help transgender kids transition — even if all they do is refer that child to another doctor for help with the procedure.
HB3515 would punish doctors who help those kids by suspending or revoking their medical licenses.
Casey Quinlan of ThinkProgress explains the obvious problems with the bill:
Transgender people and experts on transition-related care say this health care is often a matter of life and death. Trans people sometimes seek care through unofficial channels without proper supervision, which puts their lives in danger. Trans people have died through illegal silicone injections, for example. When trans people can’t access necessary health care, their mental health is also put in danger.
None of that matters to Morrison, who wants to force doctors not to provide health care even when they feel it’s necessary for the patient.
The good news here is that Illinois is a state with Democratic majorities in the legislature and a Democratic governor. There’s no way this cruel Republican bill will get through any of those hurdles, much less all of them. All it will serve to do is remind the public that the GOP doesn’t give a damn about vulnerable minorities.
For all the GOP’s talk about the need to get government out of the lives of American citizens, they don’t seem to have any problem with legislators telling medical experts how to do their jobs, even if it puts patients’ lives at risk.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Marissa for the link)