Google searches for ‘gender-affirming care’ are on the rise

Story at a glance

  • Google searches for “gender-affirming care” have risen over the past seven days, according to Google Trends data, likely because of recent legislative action seeking to either restrict or protect access to treatments like puberty blockers or hormones for transgender and nonbinary minors.

  • Searches for “gender-affirming care” were frequently linked to Google searches for “Alabama,” “family,” “law,” and “youth.”

  • Searches most often came from users in California and Texas, according to Google Trends.

Google searches for “gender-affirming care” spiked over the past week, according to Google Trends data, likely reflecting increased user awareness of issues surrounding transgender health care as state lawmakers across the country consider legislation restricting access to treatments like puberty blockers and hormone therapies.

Searches for “gender-affirming care” were often linked to searches for “Alabama,” which were up 110 percent over the past seven days, according to Google Trends. A first-of-its-kind law in Alabama criminalizing gender-affirming care went into effect Sunday, just under a month after the state’s Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the measure into law.

Under the law, Alabama doctors providing or recommending puberty blockers, hormones or other gender-affirming interventions to patients younger than 19 years old may face a felony conviction – and up to a decade in prison.

The measure has been challenged in several lawsuits, and a two-day hearing in a case seeking a preliminary injunction ended Friday with no indication of whether U.S. District Judge Liles Burke will halt the law’s enforcement while litigation continues.

America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

Other popular related topics include “family,” up 650 percent over the past seven days, “court,” up 350 percent, “law,” up 100 percent and “youth,” up 60 percent.

Searches for “gender-affirming care” over the past week most often came from users based in California and Texas, according to Google Trends data, representing either extreme in the fight for transgender rights, particularly for minors.

Conservative officials in Texas have rallied against gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary minors. In February, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) wrote in an opinion that some gender-affirming treatments amounted to “child abuse” under his interpretation of state law.

Shortly after, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered state agencies to open child abuse investigations into the parents of transgender and nonbinary youth, warning of “criminal penalties.” A Texas judge in March blocked those investigations by issuing a statewide injunction, which Paxton has sought to appeal.

In California, Democratic state Senator Scott Wiener in a coordinated effort with the LGBTQ Victory Institute, Equality California and Planned Parenthood launched an initiative to help states draft and introduce “trans refuge” bills, which aim to shield transgender children and their families from penalties when seeking gender-affirming care.

“We’re making it crystal clear: we will not let trans kids be belittled, used as political pawns and denied gender-affirming care,” Wiener said last week in a statement. The state Senator added that recent attacks on gender-affirming care in Texas have been “horrendous.”

At least 30 bills aiming to restrict access to or ban gender-affirming care for minors are under consideration in legislatures nationwide.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.