Governor Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation prohibiting the gender manipulation of minors in Iowa. Several other states have already approved measures preventing doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or hormone therapy to people under 17 years of age and prohibiting surgeries meant to change or alter their gender.
Iowa's new law also bars male students from using girls' public school restrooms, and students will need parental consent for special accommodations like using a faculty or single-occupancy restroom.
The law's enforcement relies on citizen complaint filings that authorities have three days to address. If the school does not act, then that citizen could file a complaint with the attorney general, who would investigate and possibly pursue legal action.
Critics claim governors and state lawmakers like Reynolds are hurting children and families, but Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) thinks those elected officials deserve applause.
"We were very encouraged to see the governor sign this and join the many other states that are taking up this issue, that are saying we have a duty to protect our children from the puberty blockers, the hormones, the surgeries that we see a growing body of science showing to be harmful, dangerous, and can cause irreversible damage to young children," he tells AFN.
For elected officials in other states who may be thinking about moving in this direction, Sharp recommends that they find and listen to the stories of the "detransitioners."
"Listen to the individuals like Chloe Cole and others that went through these harmful, damaging procedures as children and that are sharing the stories of how it left them scarred emotionally, physically in so many ways," he suggests. "We have a duty to make sure that no other young woman or young man in their state undergoes the same procedures, undergoes the same harmful damage to their bodies."
Sharp believes those stories will help people realize what so-called "gender-affirming care" is really doing to kids. He points out that the rest of the world is already starting to protect minors from it.