May 18, 2024

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Kansas House fails to override veto of youth “gender-affirming care”

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A bill that would have banned so-called “gender-affirming care” for minors in the state is dead, at least for this session, after two Kansas House Republicans switched their vote.

Democrat Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed Senate Bill 233 earlier in April — and the Senate easily voted to override that veto on April 29, 2024. The count was 27-13.

However, in the House, the override vote failed 82-43, which is two short of the two-thirds majority required for override.

Those two votes? Reps. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit), and Jesse Borjon (R-Topeka) — both of whom originally voted for the bill.

Republicans Mark Schreiber of Emporia and David Younger of Ulysses also voted against the bill but did not change their votes.

Background on gender-affirming care legislation

The bill, which originally passed 27-13 in the Kansas Senate and 82-39 in the Kansas House of Representatives, would have banned prescribing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and any surgical interventions for anyone under the age of 18 in the state of Kansas.

The bill also would have allowed parents to sue if healthcare providers did provide such treatments, restricted the use of state funds to promote gender transitioning, prohibited professional liability insurance from covering damages for healthcare providers that provide gender transition treatment to children, and would have required professional discipline against a healthcare provider who performed such treatments.

In a release after the veto, Kansas Speaker of the House Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita) slammed Kelly’s veto of so-called ‘gender-affirming care.’

“As we watch other states, nations, and organizations reverse course on these experimental procedures on children, Laura Kelly will most surely find herself on the wrong side of history with her reckless veto of this common-sense protection for Kansas minors,” he said. “House Republicans stand ready to override her veto to protect vulnerable Kansas kids.”

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson (R-Andover) said that the “radical left controls Kelly’s veto pen.”

“Today, the Kelly/Toland Administration endorsed the Green New Deal, signaled it’s completely okay to coerce women who have been victims of abuse into having an abortion, sided with the radical transgender ideology by rejecting the Help Not Harm Act, and refused to rein in burdensome rules and regulations that harm our economy,” he said. “This devotion to extremism will not stand, and we look forward to overriding her vetoes when we return in two weeks.”

The evidence for gender-affirming care is sketchy at best

Opponents of the bill, including Senator Mary Ware (D-Wichita), have tried to claim that refusing gender transition for minors will increase suicides, asking her colleagues before the vote, “What is the acceptable number of youth suicides?”

However, the evidence is not so clear-cut.

Those opposed to the bill ignore that the United Kingdom’s “National Health System” — often touted as a model to emulate by American Democrats — has recently pulled back from providing such services to minors after a new report called the evidence for gender-affirming care for minors “remarkably weak.”

“The Cass Review, published on Wednesday by pediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, calls for gender-affirming care services for young people to match the standards of other NHS care,’ the BBC reported on April 10, 2024. “She says the ‘toxicity’ of the debate around gender meant professionals were “afraid to openly discuss their views.”

The four-year study was initiated as the result of whistleblower reports.

“It was announced after whistle-blowers raised concerns about care at the Gender Identity and Development Service (Gids) – which was the only specialist gender clinic for children and young people in England and Wales,” the BBC reported. “Gids closed last week, four years after it was rated as “inadequate” by inspectors.”

Other nations such as Sweden and Norway have started rethinking ‘gender-affirming care’ for minors despite it moving ahead faster in the U.S.

“The U.K. is not the only European country that is rethinking how to approach gender-affirming care for minors. Several countries, including traditionally more progressive nations like Sweden and Norway, are changing guidelines at least in part due to questions from some doctors about the risks of such procedures,’ U.S. News & World Report said in a recent story. “The changes in Europe are occurring more often at the health care policy level initiated by medical professionals, rather than through new or adjusted laws pushed by legislators, and experts say they haven’t been politicized to the extent they have been in the U.S.”

Moreover, opponents are also ignoring a recent Mayo Clinic study which has found — contrary to the usual claims — that puberty blockers may well not be reversible after all.

“Puberty blockers have been shown to cause long-term fertility problems in boys, according to a preprint study from Mayo Clinic.” Fox News reports, “The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, analyzed more than 130,000 sperm cells from male children with gender dysphoria.

“The researchers analyzed the testicular cells of boys who had been taking puberty blockers for anywhere from three months to 52 months and compared them to cells of a control group who had not been on the blockers.

“Among those on puberty blockers, the researchers identified mild to severe ‘sex gland atrophy,’ determining that the medications accelerated the aging and function of testicular cells.

 

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