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Oklahoma lawmakers advance bill that would ban gender-affirming health care for minors

Kateleigh Mills

Conservative Oklahoma lawmakers are working to crack down on gender-affirming health care. One of the several bills to do so passed off the House floor Tuesday.

House Bill 2177 is broad in scope, but supporters tout two major provisions: one that requires Oklahomans to wait until they’re at least 18 to receive care, and another that blocks all public funding from gender-affirming services.

Rep. Kevin West presented the bill Tuesday. He argues it is not discriminatory.

"This has nothing to do with anything to do against the transgender community. This has everything to do with protecting children and protecting state funds," said West.

Another major provision would ban private insurance companies from covering the care — for anyone.

"We are saying that if you cannot afford — it doesn't matter if you're 18 or younger — if you cannot afford health care, then you do not have the opportunity to stay in Oklahoma and live your life," said Rep. Mauree Turner, the state’s only openly nonbinary member.

The bill passed 80-18 and is headed to the Senate.

Catherine Sweeney was StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter from 2020 to 2023.
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