KANSAS (KSNT) – A new bill was introduced in the Kansas House of Representatives that would punish doctors for providing some services to transgender children.
Wichita Democrat, Representative Stephanie Byers, said she was shocked when she heard about it, “Here we are now with another bill that attacks our trans kids, and they’re part of the most vulnerable population that we have.”
Representative Cheryl Helmer is one of four Republicans that proposed the bill. She said their intent was to protect children, “They haven’t matured emotionally. They haven’t matured psychologically.”
Byers is the state’s first openly trans lawmaker. She said age does not determine when someone will know whether or not they identify as trans, ” I knew who I was before I was in kindergarten. Most trans kids are like me, they know they know early on.”
HB 2210 if passed will make it a level 8 felony for physicians to prescribe puberty blockers, doses of testosterone to females, and estrogen to males or perform surgeries that sterilize, alter or remove healthy body parts on transgender kids under 18.
“Those children need therapy. I don’t think that we need to call therapy immediately transgender surgery or to say we need to give them steroids or whatever,” Rep. Helmer said.
Byers said transgender surgeries aren’t possible until someone is 18. She is worried the bill if passed could remove life-saving tools, “The recorded suicide rates of trans kids has actually gone down some. But part of that is because we have access to things like puberty blockers to help pause puberty to give people a chance to develop who they are and then make those choices when they’re at the legal age to move forward,” Rep. Byers said.
The House bill will now go through a committee hearing for discussion.