On Monday, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed into law a bill making it a felony for healthcare workers to provide transgender procedures to minors, including puberty blockers and hormone replacement, the Associated Press reported.
The Republican governor, who was re-elected last year, made banning transgender medical procedures on minors a priority for the 2023 legislative session.
Last year, Governor Stitt signed bills barring males from competing in female sports and preventing so-called “transgender” children from using the wrong bathroom.
In a statement released on Monday, Governor Stitt said that last year, he called for a ban on “irreversible” surgeries and medical treatments on minors to “protect our kids,” and is “thrilled to sign this into law today.” Stitt said he was proud to “stand up” for what is right by banning “life-altering transition surgeries on children” in Oklahoma.
The new law makes it illegal in Oklahoma to provide “transgender” medical procedures to anyone under the age of 18.
Unsurprisingly, the new Oklahoma law is already facing pushback, with several groups, including the ACLU of Oklahoma, vowing to fight the law in court.
In a joint statement, the Oklahoma ACLU, Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union claimed that the procedures banned in the law are a “critical part of helping transgender adolescents succeed” and “live authentically as themselves.”
In addition to Oklahoma, the legislatures in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and West Virginia have also enacted laws restricting or prohibiting transgender procedures for those under 18.
Three other states, Florida, Missouri, and Texas, have used regulations or administrative orders to ban the procedures for minors. Missouri’s ban also limits transgender procedures for adults. However, the Missouri ban has been blocked in court.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered child welfare to investigate any case of a child undergoing transgender procedures as child abuse. However, a judge has blocked the order.