Transgender Youth Health Care Ban Passes Through Oklahoma Senate Committee

KOKH - February 10, 2023 6:52 am

Oklahoma Senator Julie Daniels

In the first days of legislative session, Oklahoma lawmakers are passing bans on gender reassignment, or affirming care for minors.

There were only two bills on the Senate Rules Committee agenda on Wednesday, leaving room for a morning of debate on banning certain surgeries, procedures and some medications for minors.

Advocates for transgender youth filled the meeting, reacting when the SB613′s sponsor, Senator Julie Daniels, said her bill is not targeting anyone.

“The purpose of this bill is to protect children under the age of 18 and make sure they reach some level of maturity before they make these life-changing decisions,” Sen. Daniels said.

Her bill prohibits physicians from providing “gender reassignment medical treatment” for anyone under 18-years-old.

If a physician violates the law, there’s felony consequences. The punishment is up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Democrat Senators Kay Floyd and Julia Kirt debated the bill. They expressed their concerns about taking health care decisions away from parents, health care professionals facing felony consequences and a community of kids feeling like their voices aren’t heard.

“I think transgender Oklahomans deserve our respect, they deserve our dignity, and just acting like they don’t exist and trying to ban any medical care is not going to make them go away,” Senator Kirt said.

SB 613 does not prohibit mental or behavior health care, and only applies to those under 18 years old.

The Governor voiced his support for this type of legislation during his State of the State address this week.

 

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