House Prohibits Gender Transition Services for Minors
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation prohibiting gender transition services for minors was approved Tuesday by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. House Bill 2177, authored by Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, and Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, prohibits health care professionals from providing, attempting to provide or providing a referral for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for minors. "This legislation is about protecting our children from those who would seek to profit from their gender confusion," West said. "As a state, we must not be partner to irreversible health practices that permanently change the bodies of our children before they are of an age where they can fully understand the consequences of their decisions." HB2177 allows exceptions for minors with a medically verifiable disorder. The bill prohibits insurance coverage for gender transition services performed within the state on any minor or adult. "Common sense tells us that the decisions people make as a teenager may be shortsighted and later regretted, especially in regard to a major action like these irreversible procedures," Olsen said. "Even one child who undergoes a life-altering procedure and later laments their decision is one too many. I'm proud to stand against these reprehensible actions and proud to protect Oklahoma's children." The measure, which would go into effect immediately upon being signed, grants a six-month time period to taper off any minor currently on hormone therapy. HB2177 passed the House 80-18 and now moves to the Senate for consideration.