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Arizona Republicans pass two bills targeting transgender youth rights

The Arizona House passed the bill not long after it also approved a strict ban on abortions in the state.

Arizona Republicans pass two bills targeting transgender youth rights
Demonstrators protest near the Supreme Court as the Court hears oral arguments in three cases on LGBTQ discrimination protections in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Arizona Republicans Thursday passed two bills targeting transgender youth rights. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 25 (UPI) -- Republican Arizona lawmakers have passed two bills targeting the rights of transgender youth. The bills are headed to Gov. Doug Ducey's desk.

Without a single Democratic vote, the Arizona House Thursday passed two state Senate bills.

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SB 1165 bars anyone born a male from participating in female sports, whether or not she is fully transitioned.

Republican supporters of that bill said it recognizes that males are inherently stronger than females.

RELATED Indiana Gov. Holcomb vetos bill to ban transgender student athletes from girls' sports

SB 1138 bans "irreversible gender reassignment surgery" for anyone under 18, even with consent of parents.

That bill also targets medical professionals involved in gender reassignment surgery for people under 18.

"Any referral of gender transition procedures to an individual who is under eighteen years of age is unprofessional conduct and is subject to discipline by the appropriate licensing entity or health professional regulatory board," the legislation said.

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The SB 1138 bill said, "It is of grave concern to the legislature that the medical community, despite the lack of studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks, is allowing individuals who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex to be subjects of irreversible and drastic non-genital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery, which may actually increase the risk of suicide."

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The Arizona ACLU urged Arizona Gov. Ducey to veto the bills targeting transgendered youth.

"Arizona has unfortunately joined the long list of states that have made bullying and discriminating against trans students a priority this legislative session," ACLU of Arizona policy director Darrell Hill said in a statement. "Gov. Ducey should follow in the footsteps of the Republican governors in Utah and Indiana and veto legislation that harms the health and well-being of transgender youth."

RELATED Utah Gov. Spencer Cox to veto last-minute bill banning transgender school athletes

Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed a bill that would have prohibited transgendered student athletes from participating in girl's sports.

Gov. Cox cited figures indicating 86% of all transgendered youth have considered suicide. He said he said he wants them to live.

In Indiana, GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed a similar bill.

Earlier on Thursday, the Arizona House also passed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks and sent it to Ducey's desk, where he's expected to sign it. The state's House and Senate both narrowly passed the bill strictly along party lines.

Last April, Ducey signed into law a sweeping anti-abortion bill that criminalized abortions performed due to genetic issues of the fetus.

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