Gender-affirming care ban for minors clears Louisiana House

The full Louisiana House overwhelmingly passed State Representative Gabe Firment's 'Stop Harming Our Kids Act.'
Published: May. 17, 2023 at 5:11 PM CDT|Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 8:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (KALB) - The full Louisiana House overwhelmingly passed Republican State Rep. Gabe Firment’s “Stop Harming Our Kids Act,” originally known as the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act.”

The bill would ban a physician or medical healthcare professional from providing gender-transitioning procedures to any person under 18 years old. Those procedures include cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers and surgery.

If gender-affirming treatment were given and was not medically necessary, the medical professional would be subject to disciplinary action. It would also not allow public funds to be used on gender reassignment procedures or provide for insurance reimbursements.

The bill would prohibit these gender transitioning procedures for minors, or transgender procedures, as they are more commonly called.

The Cenla lawmaker argues the bill is not about gender or sexual orientation but about biological sex change.

Some lawmakers appeared to disagree with Firment nuances of language in the bill.

One lawmaker, state Rep. Joe Marino (I-District 85), asked Firment if he supported “the idea of people being transgender, either adults or children?” Firment responded that the “bill is not about sexual orientation or transgender.”

Firment has emphasized his bill is about protecting children from experimental medical procedures and not about gender.

Further debate focused on the idea of parental choice and limited government. For most issues in the legislative session, Republicans have focused on parental choice, especially in the classroom and parish libraries. Almost all issues where parental choice is used as the argument to support the legislation have to do with the LGBTQ community.

For instance, HB81 by Rep. Raymond Crews looks to prohibit teachers from using a student’s preferred pronoun or name not on their original birth certificate, even with parental consent.

Firment’s bill does not allow for minors to receive gender-affirming care, even with parental consent.

Opponents of the bill argue that gender-affirming care helps minors by reducing rates of suicide and depression.

Firment argues that’s not the case, claiming studies support the negative effects of gender-affirming care physically and emotionally.

The bill cleared the House by a 71-24 vote.

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