Freedom Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, and Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes Call On Legislature To End Attack on Best Practice Medical Care for Transgender Oklahomans
OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to today’s advancement of HB 2177, which would effectively end gender-affirming care for youth and adults across Oklahoma by banning access to best practice medical care for trans youth up to 18, target private insurance coverage of gender-affirming care for all ages, and create funding restrictions for any provider or entity who provides gender-affirming care to any trans person in Oklahoma, Freedom Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, and Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes issued the following statements:
“HB 2177 is government overreach that forces medical detransition for transgender Oklahoma youth and threatens trans Oklahomans of all ages through dangerous intrusion into private insurance and healthcare funding,” said Nicole McAfee, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma. “Legislators advancing this harm invoke Anita Bryant's talking points to suggest this about protecting children when it's clear who trans Oklahoma children need to be protected from are Oklahoma legislators willing to advance policy at the expense of their lives. Gender-affirming care includes a range of approaches, which are thoughtfully considered by trans patients, guardians, and doctors. The way care was portrayed by members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives advancing this policy are factually incorrect and intentionally inflammatory. Trans people have always been in Oklahoma and we will always be. We belong here. But it can be hard to remember that when the Oklahoma Legislature is intent on making us fight for our safety, our health, and our lives.”
"Today we witnessed the advancement of another bill attacking Oklahoma's transgender community. Politicians continue to spread misinformation and move at a rapid pace to push through bans on gender-affirming care against the warnings of medical bodies, organizations, and families across the country who consistently warn such policies threaten the lives of transgender people," said Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director of ACLU of Oklahoma. "Trans people of all ages face severe barriers in accessing this care including insurance coverage, costs, and finding a provider they trust. The notion that anyone is being rushed into receiving gender affirming care is completely removed from reality. There is simply no evidence of any rise in youth accessing this care without appropriate assessment. Trans people have always been here - but generations have been forced to live under shame and secrecy. All people deserve to access the medical care they need and to feel comfortable living as their authentic selves."
“These continued attacks on essential, life-saving gender-affirming care for trans Oklahomans are straight out of the anti-abortion playbook we saw from lawmakers last year – based on fear, shame, and stigma,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “Once again, lawmakers are substituting their own uninformed and hateful judgment on trans youth, their parents or guardians, and the medical professionals seeking to provide the best care for their patients. This reckless, transphobic bill not only risks the lives of trans youth, but directly targets care for people of any age by denying insurance coverage and critical funding to health centers. It goes against any notion of freedom and best practice medicine, instead letting politicians dictate a person’s health care. We won’t stop fighting this bill and many others that have targeted all trans Oklahomans. Everyone deserves the care they need, when they need it most.”
HB 2177 advanced from the Oklahoma House today by a vote of 80-18. It will next move to the Oklahoma Senate.