Oklahoma House votes to ban transgender care insurance

House Republicans on Tuesday approved a bill banning insurance coverage for transgender health care, one of many proposals this year that seek to limit gender transition procedures.

House Bill 2177 now moves to the state Senate after the House passed the measure by an 80-18 vote. All 18 dissenting votes were from members of the Democratic Party.

“This bill would protect children and parents from being pressured to agree to harmful experimental transition procedures by banning the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries on minors while allowing critical mental health care,” the congressman said Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, authored the bill.

“Insurance coverage for (transgender surgery and hormone treatment) performed within this state on minors or adults would be prohibited,” the bill states. It also states: “It is prohibited that any public funds in this state be directly or indirectly used, provided, paid or distributed to any entity, organization or individual to provide ‘transgender services.’

Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, authored a bill that would ban transgender health care insurance that was introduced in the state House on Tuesday.

More than two hours of debate preceded the vote, as Democrats accused West of curtailing parental rights and sending a message to transgender Oklahomans that they are not welcome.

Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-Oklahoma City, has proposed an amendment to the bill that would ban over-the-counter testosterone, trying to point out where to draw the line on government control.

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