OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday signed a bill targeting medical treatment for transgender youth and called on the GOP-controlled legislature to impose a nationwide ban. condition upon his return in February.
Republican-signed first-term bill, up for re-election next month, authorizes more than $108 million in American Rescue Plan Act federal funds for University Medical Center health services from Oklahoma.
It prohibits the money from being used for medical sex reassignment treatment on children under the age of 18. Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health currently offers gender identity medical services for people under the age of 24, including puberty blockers, gender-affirming hormone therapy, and counseling. to find surgeons who perform gender-affirming surgeries, according to its website.
Stitt also called on the legislature to ban some of these sex reassignment treatments statewide when he returns in February, saying in a statement that he wants a ban on “all irreversible and gender reassignment surgeries.” hormonal therapies” on minors.
Transgender medical treatment for children and teens is increasingly under attack in many Republican-led states, labeled as child abuse and subjected to criminalizing bans. But it has been available in the United States for over a decade and is endorsed by major medical associations.
Oklahoma’s action comes amid a series of threats against doctors and institutions that provide medical care to transgender children, with children’s hospitals across the country increasing security and working with law enforcement.
The OU Medical Center said that in light of the legislation Stitt signed, it had stopped prescription hormone therapies and surgical procedures for gender affirmation services on patients under 18.
Civil rights groups have denounced the governor and the legislature for the new law.
“Medical decisions belong to patients, their parents and their physicians,” Tamya Cox-Toure, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said in a statement. “Yet politicians, attempting to appeal to their base during an election year, have continued their attacks on bodily autonomy by intervening between those directly affected and the care they need and deserve.”
The Oklahoma legislature already targeted transgender youth earlier this year with new laws that restrict their ability to play sports or use school bathrooms in accordance with their gender identity.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.