OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A ban on gender-affirming care for minors is one major step closer to becoming law in Oklahoma, after it was passed in the Senate and now heads to the House.

Republican Julie Daniels authored SB613.

She presented her bill to the floor today; it passed through committee last week.

Daniels wants parents to wait until the child is 18 before making a ‘life-altering decision’.

“They can choose what to do with their bodies when they’re an adult, but we need to protect them in the meantime,” said Daniels.

The bill passed 40-8.

Many Republicans spoke out during the debate portion to voice their support for the bill and their concern regarding gender-affirming care.

Republican David Bullard said Oklahoma needs to do better when it comes to mental health, and he doesn’t consider hormone drugs, puberty blockers or surgeries as the answer to gender dysphoria.

“We have to do a better job on mental health, but you cannot cure confusion with a knife,” said Bullard.

KFOR spoke to a physician last September that said surgeries for minors are not taking place in Oklahoma. She said her trans-youth patients and their families work extensively with mental health professionals to find the best outcomes.

“I put kids on Prozac and Zoloft and all of those things before doing anything else,” said Shauna Lawlis, an Oklahoman adolescent physician. “And sometimes that’s not enough. It’s just not. They need gender-affirming care.”

Democrats concur with the doctor’s assessment of gender-affirming care.

Kay Floyd, Senate Democrat Leader, argued that lawmakers need to respect the health care decisions made by parents.

“You may not agree with the medical decision, and that’s fine. That’s not the point. The point is the parent still has that right or should have that right,” said Floyd.

Along with her Senate colleagues, Floyd disagrees with the notion that it is the legislatures job to decide what is best for parents and their children.

“If we are at a point in this legislature, we are going to start picking and choosing what medical procedures that we allow, irrespective of what the parents want, then we are on a very slippery slope,” said the Democrat leader.

Daniels took many questions from Democrats on the Senate floor.

She admitted, no medical associations were consulted and she did not talk to any trans-youth directly before writing the bill.

The Republican did talk about how Heritage Action, a conservative political organization, helped her craft the language.

The group released a statement this afternoon after the passage of this bill:

Heritage Action thanks Senator Julie Daniels for authoring S.B. 613 and applauds Governor Stitt for leading the charge to protect children from irreversible abuse and amputations. We look forward to working alongside grassroots Oklahomans to further advance legislation on this issue.

The ACLU of Oklahoma pledged to sue the state if gender-affirming care became banned for minors.

Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director for the ACLU of Oklahoma, released a statement reiterating their position:

Gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and the ACLU of Oklahoma and our partners are determined to fight these baseless laws at the Capitol or in the courts.

Senate Bill 613 still has a few more steps to go before becoming law.

It will now head over to the House and go through committee before going to the House floor for a vote.