Lawsuit Challenges North Dakota’s Ban on Transgender Youth Health Care


Updated: 9:55 AM, Fri November 10, 2023

Lawsuit Challenges North Dakota’s Ban on Transgender Youth Health Care

A lawsuit has been filed in Burleigh County, North Dakota, challenging the state’s ban on gender-affirming health care for transgender youth. The ban, which was enacted as an emergency measure in April, has come under fire for allegedly depriving transgender kids of lifesaving medical treatment. Brittany Stewart, the lead counsel for the defense, argues that the law was passed based on misinformation and lacks medical evidence to support its validity.

The plaintiffs in the case include Dr. Luis Casas, the Dolney family, and two other families who wish to remain anonymous. They approached Gender Justice, a nonprofit organization focused on gender equity in North Dakota and Minnesota, seeking assistance in fighting the ban. In September, a complaint was filed against several state attorneys, including North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley.

The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment stating that the ban violates the state’s Constitution and is therefore void. In the meantime, the plaintiffs are requesting a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent enforcement of the ban. A similar ban in Montana was recently blocked by a preliminary injunction.

The lawsuit argues that North Dakota’s ban strips away the rights of transgender children and their families to make medical decisions, such as whether to use puberty blockers and hormones, which non-transgender children and their families are still allowed to make. The plaintiffs emphasize that these medications have a wide range of uses beyond transgender care, such as treating premature puberty or gynecomastia in cisgender boys.

One of the major points raised in the lawsuit is the differential treatment of cisgender and transgender boys when it comes to hormone therapy. While cisgender boys may take hormones for certain conditions, such as overdevelopment of breast tissue, the law specifically singles out transgender boys, denying them access to such treatments.

The plaintiffs and their legal team argue that the use of gender-affirming care for cisgender children undermines the validity of the ban. They presented these arguments during a recent hearing, where they requested a temporary restraining order from Judge Jackson Lofgren. A ruling on the request is still pending.

The transgender youth involved in the lawsuit, two 12-year-old boys and a 15-year-old girl, have been traveling to Moorhead, Minnesota, to receive gender-affirming care since the ban was enacted. Winter weather conditions may make these commutes more challenging, and missing doses of puberty blockers could have irreversible effects.

The lawsuit contends that the ban was passed based on misconceptions about gender-affirming care and carries no surgical interventions for minors. Instead, the plaintiffs are seeking to maintain access to puberty blockers and hormones, which have had positive effects on their wellbeing.

In conclusion, the lawsuit challenging North Dakota’s ban on transgender youth health care highlights the importance of providing equal access to gender-affirming treatments. The plaintiffs argue that the ban violates their rights and lacks medical evidence to support its legitimacy. The case is ongoing, and a ruling on the temporary restraining order is awaited.

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Siddharth Mehta
Siddharth Mehta
Siddharth Mehta is a dedicated author at The Reportify who covers the intricate world of politics. With a deep interest in current affairs and political dynamics, Siddharth provides insightful analysis, updates, and perspectives in the Politics category. He can be reached at for any inquiries or further information.

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