A bill was signed on Tuesday by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt refusing to fund a whole hospital system in the state unless their program providing gender-affirming therapy to transgender youth is discontinued, another in a long line of anti-trans policies by Stitt.

Stitt’s new bill blocks the University of Oklahoma’s hospitals from receiving over $108 million dollars in the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which includes $40 million for a pediatric mental health facility, unless they discontinue their gender-affirming healthcare programs for transgender youths, according to The Hill.

Stitt, a first-term governor in the Republican party who is currently up for re-election, has instituted multiple anti-trans policies over the months. In March, he instituted a law that prevents transgender girls from participating in female sports teams, and in May he instituted a policy preventing young transgender girls from being able to use restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, them reported.

“This is just the first step,” Stitt tweeted after the signing. “I am calling on the Legislature to ban all irreversible gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors statewide.”

Major medical associations have condemned such policies for preventing transgender youths from being able to access life-saving and medically-necessary treatments backed by scientific studies. Multiple organizations, including the American Medical Association and the Children’s Hospital Association, have called for the investigation of such policies as harmful to children.

“[T]he bullies in the Oklahoma Legislature are more invested in their reelection campaigns than they are in protecting Oklahoma's most vulnerable,” LGBTQ activist group Freedom Oklahoma said. “We will hold these legislators accountable and we will show trans kids that they are loved, celebrated, and they belong here, with us.”

OU’s Medical Center has said in a statement after the release of the law that the hospital has stopped its “hormone-related prescription therapies and surgical procedures for gender-affirming services” for all of its patients who are under 18 years of age, in accordance to state law, NBC News reported.

“The OU Health Senior Leadership Team is proactively planning the ceasing of certain gender medicine services across our facilities and that plan is already under development,” the hospital said. “Compassionate care and patient safety always have been and will remain our top priority.”

Pride Rally for Queer Children Representational Image
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill on Tuesday blocking the funding of hospitals in the country unless they remove their gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youths, in another attack against transgender children. This is a representational image. Aiden Craver/Unsplash.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.