OK to prevent minor gender transition

Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland has filed legislation to prohibit health care professionals from providing gender transition services to people under the age of 21 in Oklahoma.

House Bill 1011 prohibits health care professionals from providing, attempting to provide or providing a referral for puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for healthy people under the age of 21.

“It’s irresponsible for anybody in health care to provide or recommend life-altering surgeries that may later be regretted,” Olsen said. “We know there are some people who undergo the gender transition process and later identify as their biological sex. Performing irreversible procedures on young people can do irreparable harm to them mentally and physically later in life.”

Health care professionals found in violation of the law would face a felony charge with a fine of up to $100,000, a 10-year sentence, or both, as well as license revocation by the appropriate licensing board. Additionally, the bill provides grounds for potential civil action brought by any person. The bill states that civil liability and criminal charges may be initiated until the victim turns 45.

HB1011 also prohibits public funds from going toward any organization providing gender transition procedures to someone under 21. The bill includes exceptions to address medically diagnosed genetic anomalies, mutations or sexual development disorders.

On April 6, 2021, Arkansas enacted a state bill over the governor’s veto, banning the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for the purpose of gender transition on individuals under 18.

Missouri’s House Bill No. 2649, introduced by Rep. Suzie Pollock of the state’s 123rd district, largely mirrors Arkansas’ legislation. “It makes it illegal to practice giving children cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, or any kind of surgery” that would alter their young bodies for life, Pollock said on the Family Research Council’s (FRC) “Washington Watch” broadcast. “I really want to get that in law and protect children because who knows where things can progress to and what they’ll be trying next?”

Like Arkansas’ legislation, Missouri’s bill bans the use of public funds or insurance coverage mandates for any gender-transitioning procedures after January 1, 2023, except for treatment of minors diagnosed with physiological intersex disorder. The proposed bill also provides legal recourse for minors who have been permanently disfigured or sterilized by such medical or surgical procedures.

The Oklahoma Legislative session begins Feb. 6, 2023.

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