INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House Republicans on Monday approved a bill that would ban all gender-affirming care for minors in the state, sending the measure to Indiana’s Republican governor.
The House advanced the ban 65-30 after contentious hearings that primarily featured testimony from vocal opponents. The bill would prohibit transgender youth under 18 from accessing hormone therapies, puberty blockers and surgeries in the state.
“This is good public policy to protect our children from irreversible, harmful, life-altering procedures,” bill sponsor Indiana Rep. Joanna King of Middlebury said ahead of Monday’s vote.
Opponents of the bill said the most commonly used treatments banned in the bill – hormone therapies puberty blockers – are often life-saving for trans kids. But supporters of the bill have voiced concerns about those treatments, despite testimony from medical providers who said they are safe and reversible.
Now the bill goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who hasn’t said if he’ll sign or veto it.
When asked about the bill on March 17th, he said “In general, parents not only have a right to their children’s health and well-being, they, in fact, have the responsibility of it.”
Last year, Holcomb vetoed a bill banning transgender students from competing in girls school sports that has since become law after Republican legislators voted to override his action.
All House Democrats, and a few Republicans, voted against the healthcare bill Monday.
“Telling the world that we did not support the members and families of this vulnerable minority population will do grave harm to those folks but also to our state’s economy,” Democratic Rep. Carey Hamilton of Indianapolis said during Monday’s debate.
Associated Press writer Tom Davies contributed to this report. Rodgers is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arleighrodgers
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