Louisiana Gov. Vetoes Bill Meant To Shield Children From Transgender Procedures
Louisiana Gov. Vetoes Bill Meant To Shield Children From Transgender Procedures

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has vetoed a bill that was meant to protect children from transgender gender-change surgeries and other procedures like giving kids cross-sex hormones.

Louisiana Gov. Vetoes Bill Meant To Shield Children From Transgender Procedures
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks about the state’s latest rise in coronavirus cases, in Baton Rouge, La., on July 23, 2021. (Melinda Deslatte/AP Photo)

House Bill 648, known as the “Stop Harming Our Kids Act,” was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature along party lines in early June.

The bill sought to prohibit hormone treatments for minors as well as puberty-blocking drugs and gender reassignment surgery, such as giving girls who identify as boys double mastectomies, which critics have decried as a form of mutilation.

If HB 648 doesn’t become law, we will be sending a horrible message to our children,” Louisiana state Sen. Jeremy Stine, a Republican, wrote on Twitter after the bill’s passage and as questions swirled around whether it would receive a veto.

This isn’t complicated. Our kids deserve to know that they are loved, valued, and perfect just as God created them,” the Republican lawmaker added.

Stine’s fear that the bill would get nixed before it entered into force became a reality on June 29, when the Louisiana governor said in a letter (pdf) that he had vetoed it.

Some had held out hopes that Edwards wouldn’t veto HB 648 because in the prior legislative session, he decided not to block a law banning transgender-identifying athletes from taking part in women and girls’ sports competitions.

However, Edwards’ six-page veto letter made clear his opposition to the “Stop Harming Our Kids Act,” which he called “ironic” because he claimed “that is precisely what it does.”

‘Ripe For a Veto’

Edwards’ letter was addressed to Clay Schexnayder, the Republican Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

In it, Edwards said the bill threatens specialists’ professional licenses, removes parental rights in healthcare decisions for children with gender dysphoria, and generally amounts to a “targeted assault” on kids suffering psychologically from a “gender crisis.”

The bill denies healthcare to a very small, unique, and vulnerable group of children,” he wrote. “It forces children currently stabilized on medication to treat a legitimate healthcare diagnosis to stop taking it.”

Edwards said that there was no evidence of any gender-change surgeries being performed in Louisiana between 2017 and 2021, and argued that supporters of the bill suggested it was “necessary to stop physicians from mutilating our children by performing gruesome sex change surgeries.”

This is simply not happening in Louisiana,” he said, arguing that the bill sought to address a non-existent problem of sex reassignment surgeries in the state while in actual fact blocking access to “necessary” medication and other less invasive medical interventions for children suffering from gender dysphoria.

I can even agree with that prohibition in this bill,” Edwards said of the bill’s provisions to ban transgender surgeries, while adding that, “unfortunately, that is not the intent of this bill and seemed to be included for dramatic effect to overshadow the medically appropriate use of puberty blockers and hormone replacements.”

Edwards also objected to a number of other “structural defects” in the bill that made it “ripe for a veto,” including insufficient clarity about what specific types of medical interventions would be subject to penalties or revocation of license.

With Edwards’ veto, the current regulations in Louisiana on transgender procedures for children remain unchanged. Specifically, they require that anyone under 18 is required to obtain parental consent before they can access hormone therapies, puberty blockers, and other treatments for gender dysphoria.

Gender dysphoria is generally defined as distress over gender identity that doesn’t match a person’s biological sex.


Gender-reassignment “treatments” have become a prominent issue in state legislatures nationwide, as Democratic and Republican lawmakers advocate for bills that either advance or restrict such procedures.

At least 19 states have passed laws that shield minors from transgender surgeries and related procedures. Proponents of the procedures call them “gender-affirming care” while opponents consider gender dysphoria to be a psychological issue that need psychological solutions, with physical interventions being seen as mutilation of children’s changing bodies.

In recent years, leaders in the U.S. health care industry such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have ramped up the promotion and use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, and have even recommended gender transition surgeries for children.

Dr. Julia Mason, a member of the AAP, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that the push in the United States for transgender medical interventions on minors is “primarily political” and linked to profit-making.

The United States is becoming more of an outlier every day,” Mason said. “Every country that has taken a serious look at the evidence has concluded that medical transition of children is experimental, and the evidence doesn’t support doing it.”

Dr. Jeff Barke, a primary care physician in California’s Orange County and member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, told The Epoch Times in a recent interview that the recent surge in support for the transgender movement is political and contrived.

It’s not science, it is politics,” he said. “Europe is moving toward freedom … while we are headed toward more socialism and totalitarianism.”

Barke said that performing gender transition surgery on minors is a “grotesque” form of child abuse that “should be illegal.”

Brad Jones contributed to this report.

Tyler Durden
Mon, 07/03/2023 – 22:00

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