May 2, 2023 -OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma on Monday became the latest state to ban gender-affirming medical care for minors as Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill that makes it a felony for health care workers to provide children with treatments that can include puberty-blocking drugs and hormones.
Oklahoma joins at least 15 other states with laws banning such care, as conservatives across the country have targeted transgender rights.
Stitt, who was reelected in November, made the ban a priority of this year’s legislative session, saying he wanted to protect children. Transgender advocates and parents of transgender children say such care is essential.
Stitt signed bills last year that prohibit transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams and prevent transgender children from using school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
“Last year, I called for a statewide ban on all irreversible gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors so I am thrilled to sign this into law today and protect our kids,” Stitt said in a statement released after the signing. “We cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening across our nation, and as governor I am proud to stand up for what’s right and ban life-altering transition surgeries on children in the state of Oklahoma.”