Louisiana Bans Gender Transition Procedures for Minors

Louisiana Bans Gender Transition Procedures for Minors

Louisiana has become the 20th state to ban transgender treatments for minors following the state legislature’s override of its Democratic governor’s veto.

In a special veto override session July 18, state legislators, assembled in Baton Rouge, passed the Stop Harming Our Kids Act (H.B. 648) which bans surgical or chemical transition therapy aimed at altering a child’s gender identity that is “inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”

Specifically, the bill outlaws the “removal of any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue” through mastectomies, hysterectomies and sterilizations. Also, the construction of artificial breasts or genitalia on minors is forbidden as well as placing children on puberty blockers or administering cross-sex hormone injections.

Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed the bill on June 29, asserting it “needlessly harms a very small population of vulnerable children, their families and their health care professionals.”

The legislature’s Republican supermajority then called a special veto override session, where the child protections passed the state House of Representatives by a 76-23 vote—a larger margin than their initial passage on May 3. The bill then cleared the state Senate, 28-11.

The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, makes an exception for children who enter puberty too early, for those born intersex, or who require such actions to treat a separate physical injury.

Edwards, who tried to kill the bill in a procedural move during the legislative session, said on Tuesday, “I expect the courts to throw out this unconstitutional bill.” But U.S. District Judge David Hale, an Obama appointee, allowed a Kentucky bill protecting children from transgender procedures to take effect last Friday.

Detransitioner Chloe Cole, who regrets having a double mastectomy at 15 years old as a result of her teenage transition, acknowledged the tremendous progress Louisiana had made in one year. Before Tuesday’s vote, Louisiana stood as “the last state in the South that was sterilizing and cutting up children,” she tweeted.

“Last year, Louisiana tried to ban talk therapy for kids with [gender dysphoria]. As of today, Louisiana has done a full 180 and has now placed age restrictions that prevent what happened to me from happening to any child in the South,” she tweeted. “To The Louisiana legislature, thank you so much for listening to my cautionary tale” and handing the Pelican State’s children a “MAJOR WIN!!”

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) tweeted his “congrats to my former colleagues in the Louisiana legislature, who stood up for children today” and assured “children will not be mutilated in the South.”

The veto override session is Louisiana’s third since 1974—all in Edwards’s second term as governor. The override makes Edwards the only modern Louisiana governor to have lawmakers override more than one veto. Lawmakers previously overrode Edwards’ veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which prohibits men from competing against women in most sports activities.

Photo: Unsplash.com

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