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A bill that would forbid gender transitioning operations for anybody under 18 has been advanced by an Indiana Senate committee



Indianapolis, Indiana – On Wednesday, members of the Health and Medical Services Committee in the Indiana Senate passed a bill that would forbid gender transitioning treatments and operations for anybody under the age of 18.

As opponents could be heard protesting outside the chamber, Senate Bill 480 was approved 8-3. The only Republican who joined both committee Democrats in voting against the bill was state senator Venta Becker.

The committee stated in an amendment that counseling and mental health services would still be offered and would not be prohibited by the measure. Nonetheless, the legislation would forbid minors from receiving gender-affirming medical or surgical care, such as hormone therapy and puberty inhibitors.

A youngster “cannot appreciate the weight and finality” of such decisions, said state senator Tyler Johnson (R-Leo), despite acknowledging the sensitivity surrounding the topic of gender transition.

During the emotional committee hearing on Wednesday, both proponents and opponents of the bill gave testimony.

Riley Children’s Hospital won’t do gender-affirming procedures on anyone under the age of 18, according to an IU Health representative who testified before the committee. A Riley physician acknowledged that hormones are occasionally provided in low dosages and described the gender care program for transgender youngsters as “life-saving therapy.”

The board president of Indy Pride, Jenny Boyts, referred to gender-affirming healthcare as a right for transgender populations and described it as life-saving.

“This gender-affirming scientifically-based services that they get is life-saving for so many years and so many adults across the state,” Boyts said.

The bill’s backers, Partners for Ethical Care, stated that there is no proof that care for those who are transitioning their gender saves lives. Another witness, a physician from Fort Wayne, expressed concern over the security of hormone therapy for children.

The bill will now be brought up for a full vote on the Senate floor.

The Indiana ACLU opposed the law and claimed that it would damage transgender children.

“Today, despite the opposition of all legitimate medical organizations, the Indiana Senate Health and Provider Services Committee voted to strip parents of their rights to make age-appropriate medical decisions for their children by banning gender-affirming medical care for trans youth.
“Indiana legislators are risking the lives of young people by forcing their way into family decision-making, a fundamental right which has traditionally been protected against government intrusion. Gender-affirming medical care for trans youth is safe, effective, and life-saving care. The ACLU of Indiana stands ready to defend the freedom of families to make these decisions for their children.”

The law was opposed by state senator Sheli Yoder (D-Bloomington), who charged that it preyed on a group of young people who were already vulnerable.

“This Legislature has decided its newest target is children who are already particularly vulnerable: 30% of people with gender dysphoria will attempt suicide. For reference, that’s about 100 times the rate of the general U.S. population. We know gender-affirming care can bring that number back to baseline–it’s literally lifesaving. The total ban set down by SB 480 signals that the majority has not seriously engaged with peer-reviewed science, healthcare providers, or the families and children who choose this care.
“This bill attempts no scientific understanding, nuance or compassion—it simply legislates trans youth out of existence. In a session we’ve largely devoted to improving healthcare, this is a huge step backward, a slap in the face to the practitioners who overwhelmingly opposed the bill, and a death sentence for members of the trans community in Indiana.”