Oklahoma joins various other Republican-led states on the recent string of restrictions on transgender treatments for children, making performing trans surgery on children or prescribing a child puberty blockers a felony offense in the Sooner State.
On Monday, Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) signed into law Senate Bill 613, causing any healthcare worker to receive a felony charge if they provide children under the age of 18 gender change surgery, puberty-blocking drugs, or hormone doses that suppress or delay normal puberty. It also outright bans any medications or surgeries that are intended for gender transition.
Violators who still attempt to perform these procedures will have their medical licenses revoked or face civil actions from the parent or guardian of the child.
This law follows many other states that have banned or restricted transgenderism such as Montana, which has banned the procedures for children, and Kansas, which made people have to enter the bathroom of their assigned birth in government-owned public places.
The reasoning behind many of these lawmakers’ decisions is that if children under 18 are not able to legally get tattoos, smoke, or drink, how could they be able to make such a major decision such as transitional surgery or puberty blockers? Democrats have countered that the decision to reassign should be the child’s decision with or without parental consent.
Following the signing of SB 613, Stitt said “Last year, I called for a statewide ban on all irreversible gender transition surgery and hormone therapies on minors so I am thrilled to sign into law today and protect our kids. We cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening across our nation, and as governor, I am proud to stand up for what’s right and ban life-altering transition surgeries on children in the state of Oklahoma.”
There has been backlash from leftist organizations in the state. The ACLU of Oklahoma has tweeted out in support of transgender youth within the state as well as announcing they would be taking legal action against the new bill.
In a statement, the ACLU of Oklahoma said “If this bill is signed into law, we will defend the rights of transgender youth in court, just as we have done in other states engaging in this anti-science and discriminatory fearmongering.”
@LambdaLegal, @ACLU, and the ACLU of Oklahoma are reassuring the transgender youth of Oklahoma that they will take any necessary legal action against a proposed ban on their health care currently being considered by the state. #okleg
— ACLU of Oklahoma (@ACLUOK) April 28, 2023
Oklahoma is now the 16th state to have either banned or restricted transgender surgery for children, with over 20 states in the country currently considering the passing of similar measures.
The passing of the bill is undoubtedly a major win for the Right and ensuring the safety of the children in Oklahoma.