Oklahoma passes ‘anti-science’ ban on gender-affirming healthcare for trans youth

Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt speaking to press.

Yet another US state has paved the way for a gender-affirming care ban for trans youth, this time in Oklahoma.

The Republican-majority state House passed Senate Bill 613 on Thursday (27 April) in a final vote of 38-8.

Introduced by senator Julie Daniels, the bill aims to ban medical professionals from administering gender-affirming healthcare to trans youth, such as physically reversible puberty blockers.

It also bans gender-affirming surgeries, which are not performed on under-18s by any private or public medical organisation anywhere.

Those in violation of the bill could face a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison, as well as the removal of their medical license for “a period of not less than one year”.

The law will now be brought before Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it after expressing his support.

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“We must protect our most vulnerable – our children,” Stitt said in a statement. “We shouldn’t allow a minor to get a permanent gender-altering surgery in Oklahoma.

“That’s why I am calling on the legislature to send me a bill that bans all gender transitioning surgeries and hormone therapies on minors.”

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In a legislative debate prior to the vote, Democratic representative Cyndi Munson spoke in support of trans youth, saying: “You are seen, you are valued, you are loved.”

ACLU Oklahoma reassured youth in the state that it would take legal action to mitigate the damage caused by the legislation, if the bill is signed into law.

“Transgender youth in Oklahoma deserve the support and care necessary to give them the same chance to thrive as their peers,” their statement read.

“Gender-affirming care is a critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed, establish healthy relationships with their friends and family, live authentically as themselves, and dream about their futures.

“If this bill is signed into law, we will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fear-mongering.

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