May 28, 2024

Republican Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt Signs Law Making Irreversible Gender Transition Surgeries on Minors a Felony Offense

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed SB 613 into law Monday, restricting sex reassignment procedures for children up to 18 years old in the state. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, signed SB 613 into law Monday, restricting sex reassignment procedures for children up to 18 years old in the state. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has signed a new law that bans healthcare providers from performing gender surgeries or providing hormone therapy to minors, making it a felony offense. The newly-signed SB 613 prohibits irreversible gender transition surgeries, puberty-blocking drugs, and any other medical procedures or medication intended for gender transition. Those who violate the law may have their medical licenses revoked or face civil actions by the child’s parent or guardian.

At least 16 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Utah, have already passed laws that restrict or prohibit gender surgery for minors. However, some Democratic-led states argue that the decision to reassign a child’s sex should ultimately be left up to the child, regardless of their parent or guardian’s support.

Governor Stitt’s move comes as Republican-led states push to restrict or prohibit sex reassignment procedures for minors, arguing that children under the age of 18 are not mature enough to make such significant and potentially life-altering decisions. Nevertheless, the new law has faced criticism from civil liberty organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, who have promised to challenge the legislation through legal means.

The highly controversial issue of sex reassignment procedures for minors remains a hotly debated topic across the nation, with nearly two dozen states considering or debating bills this year to restrict or ban such procedures. While some states, like Florida, Missouri, and Texas, have already banned or restricted medical procedures to alter a person’s sex, others, including Oklahoma, continue to navigate the legal and ethical implications of these laws.

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