Senate committee votes to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth
A Senate committee heard a few hours of testimony Wednesday and then voted to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Transgender advocates protested outside the committee as it was passed.
Senate Bill 480 would ban medicinal or surgical transition for transgender Hoosiers younger than 18. It is already against national and international guidance to perform gender-affirming surgeries for transgender youth, and no provider in Indiana offers it for minors.
Krisztina Inskeep told lawmakers about her experience as the parent of a transgender child, seeking gender-affirming care.
“Job one was to keep our kid alive,” Krisztina Inskeep said. “If it weren’t for the support of doctors and health care professionals, we’re convinced our kid may not have survived.”
READ MORE: What is gender-affirming care?
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Her husband, Ken Inskeep, warned lawmakers through tears what the consequences of the bill might be.
“Hoosier children, our children, will suffer and die if you pass this bill,” Ken Inskeep said.
The Trevor Project’s 2022 report found that 56 percent of transgender and nonbinary youth in Indiana seriously considered suicide in the previous year. With gender-affirming care, those statistics nearly mirror their cisgender counterparts.
Noah, whose name has been omitted for their safety, spoke to their experience as a nonbinary youth. They told lawmakers they first began questioning their gender at 7 years old.
“I can personally tell you, as I stand up here today, if I had not received the counseling that was necessary, I would not be standing before you. I would have been another statistic to you,” Noah said.
Protesters gather outside of the Senate committee, cheering for the parents of a transgender girl who are currently testifying. pic.twitter.com/CFdHvYrsHD— Lauren Chapman🏳️🌈 (@laurenechapman_) February 22, 2023
The Indiana State Medical Association and the Indiana chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics testified against the bill. Most major medical organizations support access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
Testimony in support of the ban largely questioned the safety of hormonal treatments and puberty blockers. Puberty blockers are largely reversible, though data suggests it's very rare that people on puberty blockers choose to transition back to the gender they were assigned at birth. Gender-affirming care providers told lawmakers that prescribing medicinal therapy for gender dysphoria requires regular testing every three months to make sure dosage is appropriate and to limit side effects.
Only four people who testified in support of the bill were from Indiana, and none received gender-affirming care as minors.
The bill now goes to the full Senate.
Lauren is our digital editor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.