Senate committee rejects bill to ban gender-affirming care for minors

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The Senate Health and Welfare Committee kills a bill that would prohibit gender affirming care for minors. The vote was five to four to defer the legislation for the regular season. Republican Chairman and New Iberia Senator Fred Mills casted the tie-breaking vote.

“I do believe in a physician and I believe in the right for a family to choose what’s best for them, I vote yes,” said Mills.

Pollock Representative Gabe Firment’s bill would prohibit doctors from giving minors puberty blockers or performing any gender-transitioning procedures.

Alexandria Senator Jay Luneau says there are no cases of a parent allowing their child to have a sex change before they are 18.

“It’s a solution looking for a problem,” said Luneau.

Firment says he’s trying to protect children from what he calls experimental treatments. He believes gender dysphoria should be treated as a mental health issue that includes counseling.

Opponents of the legislation say kids with gender identity issues are not undergoing body changing procedures and parents are consulted as doctors determine treatment. Luneau says gender-affirming care has the support of several major medical organizations.

“The vast majority of the national organizations dealing with medicine all agree and most them agree much of this therapy is good therapy and needed therapy,” said Luneau.

Opponents of the legislation pointed to studies that show transgender youth are less at risk for depression and suicidal thoughts if they are able to access gender-affirming care.

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