OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Gender affirming care for minors is one step closer to being banned in Oklahoma.
Senate Bill 613 proposes a ban on surgeries and other procedures related to gender transitions.
It was passed in the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday.
Julie Daniels, Republican from Bartlesville, is the author and said the motivation to write and pass this bill comes from the consequences of irreversible procedures.
SB613 outlaws puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgical treatment.
“Out of an abundance of caution, that is why we are waiting until age 18 before these decisions can be made,” said Daniels.
The bill does not include other body-altering procedures such as, lip injections, breast implants, and botox.
Daniels was asked why not.
“This bill speaks only to gender transition procedures,” said Daniels. “I understand that people have brought that up as an argument…it’s not any part of the subject matter of this bill.”
Democrat Senators argued that medical professionals were not consulted.
“It’s dangerous when we have legislators deciding what is medically appropriate,” said Julia Kirt, Democrat from OKC.
Kirt said that best practices need to be considered when drafting legislation that impacts mental and physical health.
“Things have changed in many aspects of medicine and science, and we need to be listening to those best practices, even if it’s not finalized,” said Kirt. “Even if that care is not totally decided and things are changing.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends comprehensive gender-affirming care for youth that identify as transgender and gender diverse.
On Monday, a crowd of a couple hundred people gathered inside the Capitol to protest legislation like SB 613.
“Trans lives matter” and “We are Oklahoma” could be heard chanting throughout the fourth floor.
After the vote Wednesday, Tamya Cox-Toure, Executive Director at ACLU of Oklahoma released a statement:
“Gender-affirming care is life-saving care, period. But today, Oklahoma politicians advanced the first of many attacks seeking to bar transgender people from accessing this essential health care, ignoring the warnings of transgender youth, their families, and their medical providers. Medical and mental health professionals agree this care is safe, effective, and necessary. Gender-affirming care is the only evidence-based means of helping transgender people to thrive. Patients and their doctors should be making these decisions—not politicians.”
The ACLU of Oklahoma has promised to sue the state of Oklahoma if legislation banning gender-affirming care is signed into law.
Governor Kevin Stitt pledged, in his State of the State address, to sign any such legislation.
Senate Bill 613 will move to the floor for a vote sometime later this session.