Governor Gianforte Defends Youth Health Protection Act

Stands by law to protect children from permanent, life-altering medical procedures

Governor's Office
  • February 12 2024

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte on Friday filed a brief to the Montana Supreme Court to defend the Youth Health Protection Act, reaffirming his commitment to protect children from permanent, life-alerting medical procedures.

“Last year, I signed Senate Bill 99 into law to protect Montana children from invasive medical treatments that can permanently alter their healthy, developing bodies,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Despite radical organizations and their attempts to prevent this commonsense law from going into effect, I remain committed to protecting Montana’s children.”

As established when the governor signed Senate Bill 99 into law, the Youth Health Protection Act prohibits certain medical treatments to treat minors with gender dysphoria.

Last April, the governor returned the bill to the legislature with recommendations to strengthen it and ban the use of taxpayer resources on all gender transition treatments.

Six months after the bill’s passage, a state district court judge in Missoula preliminarily enjoined the bill and blocked its protections.

In challenging the injunction, the governor, along with the State of Montana and other named agencies, on Friday filed a brief asking the Montana Supreme Court to allow the Youth Health Protection Act to go into effect, arguing, “This case presents a direct challenge to the State of Montana’s authority to exercise its police power to protect a generation of children from grievous harms such as sterilization, disfigurement, and lifelong medicalization.”

Highlighting concerns with unsettled state of the science around puberty blockers, hormonal treatments, and sex-reassignment surgeries, the brief continues, “The state of the science on gender-affirming care – nationally and internationally – is currently conflicted and uncertain, and it continues to trend in support of the conclusion that the treatments at issue result in far more harm than good.”

Blasting the plaintiffs’ complaint, the brief continues, “Yet Plaintiffs claim that children – who cannot vote, purchase alcohol or tobacco, enter into contracts, join the military, or consent to sexual intercourse – can consent to experimental and irreversible procedures likely to exacerbate mental and emotional problems, harm them physically, suppress the natural development of their bodies and brains, and subject them to sterilization."

To protect Montana’s children, the governor is committed to defending the Youth Health Protection Act from those who seek to prevent its enforcement.

The brief as it was submitted to the Montana Supreme Court can be viewed here.