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House bill to block transgender youth health care killed

Posted at 2:18 AM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 03:18:05-04

BATON ROUGE, La. — House Bill 648, which aimed to prohibit Louisiana from providing all gender-affirming care to transgender children has been killed.

In a Louisiana Senate committee meeting heard on Wednesday, the ban bill on gender-affirming health care to transgender youth would have banned access to surgeries, hormones, and puberty-blocking medication is protected.

KATC spoke with one parent who is relieved that the bill was killed and feels that ultimately, the choice to receive healthcare should be between a parent and child, as well as their medical provider.

"The parents are involved in this every step of the way and we are the experts on our kids and we know what is best for our kids," said Cathleen Hyde.

Senator Fred Mills, R-Parks, was the tie-breaking vote and faces much backlash on social media from the Republican Party of Louisiana since the decision.

Representative Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, in a statement to KATC says that he is dissatisfied with the ruling.

"I am very disappointed in the outcome of today’s Senate Health & Welfare committee meeting. HB648 simply protects Louisiana’s children from experimental and often irreversible sex change procedures."

Sen. Mills stated that a report from LDH influenced his decision into voting against the bill.

The report showed there were no gender-reassignment surgeries on transgender youth in Louisiana from 2017 to 2021.

Hyde is a mother to a transgender child, they were both present at the Louisiana State Capitol to hear the outcome. She says this is a monumental step forward for her son's rights in the state that they love.

"I am his parent for a reason and that is to stand up for his rights," Hyde said. "His ability to live freely in a world that is not always friendly to him and people like him but he has much as right to exist here and just as much right to access healthcare here."

Republicans are calling on the Senate to override the committee vote and consider the bill on the floor.

"It is unfortunate that the voice of the people was silenced today in a state Senate committee room. Louisiana remains the only state in the South to allow its children to be harmed by these experimental procedures, but we will keep fighting to pass this legislation and protect Louisiana’s children no matter the cost and despite the forces aligned against us," said Firment.

Advocates also agree the fight is far from over, but that this is a significant step for LGBTQ+ youth in Louisiana.