Health Care , Culture & the Family

Staff | April 28, 2023

OCPA praises lawmakers for protecting children and teens


OKLAHOMA CITY (April 28, 2023)—Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs President Jonathan Small today praised members of the Oklahoma Legislature for sending the governor legislation that will prevent children and teens from undergoing sex-reassignment surgeries, cross-sex hormones, or puberty blockers before age 18.

“Puberty is a time of significantly varied thoughts, emotions, and impulsive decisions even for children with no underlying problems, but it is an especially volatile period for youth dealing with abuse or mental illness, a category that includes many children who express gender confusion,” Small said. “Individuals promoting so-called transgenderism may be willing to overlook that reality, and pretend surgeries or cross-sex hormones are a ‘cure’ for a child who has been sexually abused or experiencing mental illness or peer pressure, while ignoring the very serious issues those children are enduring—but our state cannot tolerate that worldview. By banning sex-change surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones, the Oklahoma Legislature has made it much more likely these children will receive the care they so desperately need.”

Senate Bill 613 states, “A health care provider shall not knowingly provide gender transition procedures to any child.” The bill passed both chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature this week, receiving supermajority support in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and the state Senate.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kevin Stitt, who called for passage of the law in his February “State of the State” address.

“Governor Kevin Stitt and the many lawmakers who have worked diligently to put these common-sense protections in place deserve our appreciation,” Small said, “including Sen. Warren Hamilton, Rep. Jim Olsen, Sen. Julie Daniels, Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, Rep. Kevin West, Sen. David Bullard, Sen. Nathan Dahm, Sen. Shane Jett, and Sen. Rob Standridge.”

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is a free-market think tank that works to advance principles and policies that support free enterprise, limited government, individual initiative and personal responsibility.



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