Bill advances to ban gender-affirming care to minors

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Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment appeared before a second Senate committee to revive his proposed ban on gender-affirming care for minors.

By Jenna Bridges

LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE—A second Senate committee advanced a bill Friday that would ban gender-affirming care for minors after the Republican chairman of another committee had blocked the measure.

Rep. Michael “Gabe” Firment, R-Pollock, presented the legislation, House Bill 648, that failed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on May 24 in a 5-4 vote.

Sen. Fred Mills, a Republican and the chairman of that committee, was the tie-breaking vote that crossed party lines to block the bill then. National Republican activists attacked Mills after his vote.

The Senate later voted 26-12 to recommit the bill to the Senate Judiciary A Committee.

The committee moved to adopt an amendment that would change the date that the law would become effective to Jan. 1, 2024, from July 1, 2023.

It also changed the date–to Dec. 31, 2024, from Dec. 31, 2023–by which a minor who had already started gender-affirming hormone therapy would need to discontinue care.

Firment’s bill would prohibit healthcare professionals from administering hormone therapy or performing surgery as gender-affirming care to anyone under 18. The bill specifies that doctors are not prohibited from providing care to minors who are intersex or have a disorder of sexual development.

If a healthcare professional chooses to administer gender-affirming care to a minor under the provisions of this law, their professional license could be revoked for a minimum of two years.

The bill would also allow a person who has suffered injuries from a violation of the law to seek civil action.