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Gov. Reynolds signs anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’, gender-affirming care ban for minors into law

Reynolds signed Senate File 482 and 538 into law Wednesday. Both bills restrict what transgender minors are allowed to do in Iowa and are effective immediately.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed two bills into law Wednesday focused on transgender minors in the state. Both passed through the House and Senate earlier this month.

Senate File 482, also known as the 'bathroom bill,' passed the Iowa House 57-39 on Thursday, March 16. It also passed the Iowa Senate along party lines 33-16. 

The law bans transgender students from using bathrooms and changing rooms that align with their gender identity. 

It also requires that schools address any perceived violations within three business days of receiving a written notice. If not, any Iowan is able to file a complaint against the school to the attorney general's office.

President of the Iowa State Education Association Mike Beranek talked about the added pressure on educators that comes with new regulations.

"There will need to be the responsibility of policing this kind of action in our schools," Beranek said. "And when we are focused on our state scores, ensuring we're teaching our standards, pulling time away in all of these directions makes it difficult for educators to complete the tasks that are before them."

Senate File 538 bans all medical gender-affirming care for people under the age of 18. It passed along party lines in the Iowa Senate 33-16 on Tuesday, March 7. The bill then passed in the Iowa House 57-39 the next day. 

"The majority of Iowans support the bills, they support protecting our children against uncertain science," Reynolds said. "These are irreversible therapies and procedures. These are hormones that have not been approved by the FDA for this use."

Both laws are effective immediately, meaning moving forward, doctors in Iowa are no longer allowed to prescribe puberty blockers or gender-related hormone therapy to minors.

Likewise, students in Iowa will be required to use the bathroom or locker room corresponding to their sex assigned at birth.  

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.

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