On Tuesday, North Carolina Senate Republicans passed a bill prohibiting medical professionals from administering “gender-affirming care” to minors. “This bill is about protecting children and teenagers from decisions that have life-changing, permanent impacts,” Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Forsyth, said.
House Bill 808 (H.B. 808) would prohibit state funds from being used for certain medical procedures and treatments related to gender transition for individuals under 18. This includes surgical procedures and the prescription, provision, or distribution of drugs that block puberty or alter hormonal levels in minors.
Additionally, the bill allows impacted minors to bring civil action within a 25-year window.
The Senate voted in favor of the bill by a margin of 29-16, with all present Republicans voting for the measure and all present Democrats voting against it.
“For good reason, other countries are taking a second look at how they administer puberty blockers. Regulating these treatments for minors in North Carolina is the appropriate action to take,” Krawiec said.
Bill sponsors for H.B. 808 are Reps. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke; Mark Pless, R-Haywood; Ken Fontenot, R-Wilson; and John Torbett, R-Gaston.
The Senate introduced an originally identical bill, S.B. 639. Sponsors of the S.B. 639 are Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell; Buck Newton, R-Wilson; and Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico.
During the debate, Krawiec challenged 16 studies cited by Democrats, claiming that following the peer-review process, all of the studies that suggested that children were more likely to commit suicide if they did not transition were proven untrue.
“Not a single one of these studies supports the claim that if a child were not allowed to transition, they would commit suicide,” Krawiec said. “In two other studies, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence found these studies to be ‘very low in certainty.’”
On the other side of the debate, Senate Democrats argued that H.B. 808 represents government intrusion into family decisions.
“This bill isn’t about keeping our children safe,” Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, said. “This bill represents yet another example of government overreach. The bill represents another examples of when politicians decide, not medical professionals decide. This bill represents yet another examples of letting politicians decide, and not letting parents decide.”
Earlier this year, Chaudri opposed legislation that expands parents’ options to choose schools for their children.
Chaudri proposed an amendment to the bill, which included granting children the right to comfort in school. However, the amendment was tabled.
Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklendburg, proposed an amendment to the bill that aimed to prohibit certain individuals struggling with gender identity or sexual orientation from receiving any form of conversion therapy.
Additionally, the amendment included a provision that restricted counseling for these individuals, allowing it only if the counseling “provides acceptance, support, and understanding of an individual or facilitates an individual’s coping, social support, and identity exploration and development.”
However, the amendment did not pass and was tabled.
After receiving bipartisan support once already in the House, H.B. 808 now proceeds back to the House for a concurrence vote.
Afterwards, it is expected that Gov.Cooper will veto the bill.
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