Freedom Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, and Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes Calls On Politicians To End Attack on Best Practice Medical Care for Transgender Oklahomans
OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to advancement of the latest attack on best practice medical care for Two Spirit, transgender, and gender nonconforming (2STGNC+) Oklahomans, Freedom Oklahoma, ACLU of Oklahoma, and Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes again call on the Oklahoma Legislature to stop threatening the safety and survival of already marginalized youth to advance partisan and personal political agendas. SB 613 would force medical detransition against provider recommendations and best practice guidelines for 2STGNC+ Oklahomans under 18, ban best practice medical care for transgender Oklahomans under 18 going forward, while threatening medical providers with criminalization, civil action, and license penalties. This policy would effectively end live-saving, best practice medical care for transgender youth across Oklahoma, as part of the wave of anti-trans legislation being pushed by established hate groups and extremists being introduced in state legislatures across the country.
After at least 15 different bills seeking to bar 2STGNC+ Oklahomans–especially those under the age of 18–from accessing gender-affirming care, despite warnings from doctors and therapists, transgender people of all ages, their families, and 2SLGBTQ+ community leaders, were introduced this session, SB 613 is the last remaining effort moving through the chambers at this time. Comparable laws in Alabama and Arkansas are currently enjoined by federal court orders, and Oklahoma can expect similar lawsuits, should SB 613 pass.
"Everyone should have the freedom to access the care they need to survive and thrive, but Oklahoma politicians continue to push laws that infringe on our freedoms and our privacy, in an effort to score political points with their base without any consideration or accountability for the real-life consequences of these laws,” said Tamya Cox-Touré, Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma. "Repeatedly, Oklahomans have witnessed our government continue to interfere with the care we receive, the curriculum our schools teach, and what information we can safely share with a trusted doctor or teacher. We all deserve the freedom to control our bodies and seek the healthcare we need. The ACLU of Oklahoma and our partners are determined to fight these baseless laws and are prepared to move forward with legal action should any of these bills be signed into law.”
“Physicians, parents, and patients do not need politicians in the Oklahoma Legislature creating arbitrary government interference to their ability to provide best practice medical care. This effort is not rooted in real concern for the safety or lives of 2STGNC+ youth, because the legislators advancing these policies have made it clear they would rather a child be dead than survive as a transgender person,” said Nicole McAfee, Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma. “Ensuring trans Oklahoma youth can access the care they need is a critical part of helping them succeed in school, creating positive relationships in their communities, and developing into healthy adults. The stakes are clear. 2STGNC+ youth deserve better than the hope they can survive to escape a state seeking to actively harm them. 2STGNC+ lives are worth living. All 2STGNC+ Oklahomans deserve the safety to thrive, at any age. And we’ll continue to fight for that right.”
“To our trans family and friends in Oklahoma, know this: you are loved, you deserve to receive high-quality and compassionate care, and your right to bodily autonomy should not be up for debate by politicians in this state,” said Emily Wales, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes. “Again and again this legislative session, we have urged the legislature to listen to expert medical providers and the people who best know their needs: patients. But politicians have focused more on getting headlines and inflicting mental and emotional harm than extending care known to save lives. Rather than facing fear, confusion, and cruelty, trans Oklahomans deserve to live and be a part of our community as their full and authentic selves. We continue to stand with the LGBTQIA+ community across Oklahoma and will fight these transphobic attacks, because trans youth and their families – not politicians – deserve to make their own health care decisions.”
SB 613 advanced from the Oklahoma House today with an added emergency by a vote of 73-18. It will next return to the Senate for a decision on the amendments made in the House.