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A Wednesday bill filed by the Oklahoma legislature could prevent anyone under the age of 26 from being subjected to so-called ‘gender-affirming care,’ representing a seismic change in Republican strategy.

Originally filed in February according to Newsmax, the new legislation is set to prohibit medical professionals from either providing or even recommending hormonal or surgical attempts to alter gender for any patients under the age of 26. Any medical providers violating the statute would find themselves punishable by felony charges and could potentially find their medical license to practice revoked under the auspice of “unprofessional conduct.”

Titled the “Millstone Act,” according to The Hill, the American Civil Liberties Union has subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to block the law. An alternative bill filed in December seeks to block the practice of “gender transition procedures” on patients under the age of 21 carrying a penalty of a $100,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

The act is so named in reference to the Bible passage Matthew 18:6 which reads in the New International Version: “If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” The biblical reference has been heavily criticized by many on the left with the suggestion that it presents a threat of violence by equating ‘gender-transition’ to sin.

Republican State Sen. David Bullard said in a statement to The Oklahoman that ‘gender-affirming surgery’ is “a permanent solution to a temporary problem” and described the act as a violation of the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

“We want to make sure that if we’re going to do a procedure like this that is irreversible, then we want to make sure an individual is at their full maturity when it comes to cognitive development,” he said.

Bullard explained why the bill would ban the procedures up to age 26 as well saying, “At the age of 18, you can vote, but a vote is not a permanent change in your body that cannot be reversed. At the age of 21, you can drink, but at the end of the day, if you decide to put the alcohol down, you can put the alcohol down. But with this surgery, there is no going back. We just want to make sure that the brain is fully developed before we allow this kind of surgery, a permanent thing to happen.”

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