Children's hospital chooses state funds over gender identity issues

Children's hospital chooses state funds over gender identity issues

Children's hospital chooses state funds over gender identity issues

A state lawmaker is glad to see Oklahoma moving on legislation that could save children from permanent and irrevocable psychological and physical scars.

State Representative Kevin West (R) tells AFN the Oklahoma Children's Hospital, which is part of the Oklahoma University Health system, does a creditable job of meeting the health needs of its patients. So when he came across something on the hospital website that needed attention, he arranged for a meeting.

West, Kevin (R-OK) West

"In that meeting, they confirmed that yes, they are doing hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and at this particular clinic, they have done some of the above-the-waist surgeries," West relays.

Blaze Media reports that the hospital boasts the gender-related services offered to minors under its Roy G. Biv program, including "pausing puberty to further explore gender," hormone therapy, and assistance finding surgeons willing to perform gender-altering surgery on minors.

Oklahoma Children's Hospital's website describes the facility as the "only interdisciplinary clinic in the state" providing gender-affirming care to patients under the age of 16 years. Additionally, it is "designated an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation."

In response, Rep. West and his colleagues held a special season on Monday in which the Oklahoma House of Representatives added restrictions to HB 1007 that prevent state funding from being used to perform "gender reassignment medical treatment."

"No moneys shall be budgeted or expended by the authority for the benefit of any facility owned by the university hospital authority or university hospital trust performing gender reassignment medical treatment on children under the age of 18," West reads from the new version.

The hospital now plans to halt certain gender-related medical services to avoid losing $39 million in state funds.

When the legislature returns to regular session, Rep. West plans to pursue a statewide ban on gender reassignment services for minors to save the lives of children who need psychological counseling, not drugs, hormones, or surgical mutilation.