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Legislative Roundup – Week 3


Lawmakers Hear Arguments on Transgender Healthcare, Abortion in Controversial Week

By Austin Amestoy

Legislative News Service U of M School of Journalism

Anti-Transgender Bills Draw Opponents

Lawmakers have advanced two measures aimed at banning transgender women and girls from playing women’s sports and blocking transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming treatment after facing a storm of opposition from concerned citizens, parents, businesses and medical organizations.

Rep. John Fuller, R-Whitefish, sponsored House Bill 112, also called the “Save Women's Sports Act." The bill would require transgender women and girls to compete with others of their gender assigned at birth at the elementary, high school and college levels. Fuller also sponsored House Bill 113, designed to restrict access to puberty- blocking drugs, hormone treatments and surgery for minors with gender dysphoria.

Fuller, who coached women’s athletics for years, posed HB 112 as a solution to a problem of athletes assigned male at birth out-competing other female athletes, despite evidence brought by opponents who said the problem is non-existent.

“Allowing males to compete as women in female sports will result in women once again being shouldered aside to stand below the awards podium and forced to cheer the accomplishments of men," Fuller said.

But, a deluge of opponents of the bill slammed it as unconstitutional and an attack on transgender Montana youth.

“Just like the bathroom bill that this committee killed in 2017, the state has no business policing gender, asking schools to police gender, invading privacy, or asking for medical records," said Laurel Hesse, a representative from the A...