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Louisiana Overrides Veto and Bans Medical Mutilation for Children
July 21, 2023
BATON ROUGE, La., July 21, 2023 /Christian Newswire/ -- Louisiana legislators enacted "The Stop Harming Our Kids Act" last Tuesday which bans experimental puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and mutilating irreversible surgeries for minors. The legislature overrode Governor John Bel Edwards' veto in a special session voting 76-23 in the House and 28-11 in the Senate making Louisiana the 21st state to pass such a law protecting children. The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

According to the bill, health care professionals are banned from "knowingly" engaging in any act that "attempts to alter a minor's appearance" and are also barred from validating minors' perception of their sex contrary to their actual biological sex. The new law forbids the "removal of any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue," such as mastectomies, hysterectomies, and penectomies, as well as the construction of artificial genitalia, sterilization procedures, and aesthetic alterations.

Under the law, health care practitioners found in violation would have their professional licenses revoked for a minimum of two years. The law also makes provision for victims of these treatments and procedures to sue for damages for injuries suffered from any violation of the law.

While many American medical associations repeatedly advocate for hormonal treatments to treat gender dysphoria – a position parroted by the Biden administration – doctors from around the world are citing no evidence of positive outcomes to support these potentially irreversible actions.  On July 13, 2023, a group of 21 doctors and medical researchers from nine countries – Finland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, France, Switzerland, South Africa, and the United States – issued a letter in response to a claim by the Journal of the Endocrine Society that these treatments and procedures reduce the risk of suicide among gender-confused children.

The letter stated, "Every systematic review of evidence to date…has found the evidence for mental-health benefits of hormonal interventions for minors to be of low or very low certainty. By contrast, the risks are significant and include sterility, lifelong dependence on medication and the anguish of regret."

While the group of doctors noted the "unfortunate" nature of how politicized health care for gender dysphoria has become, they recommended medical societies to align with the "best evidence available" which shows mental health therapy should be the "first line of treatment" for gender dysphoria. The doctors concluded there is "no reliable evidence" that these banned treatments are effective in suicide prevention.

Louisiana now joins 20 other states, including all its neighboring states, in banning these procedures. Until the new law takes effect in 2024, minors under age 18 in Louisiana need parental consent before accessing puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "Biology cannot be changed by drugs or a scalpel. These interventions are harmful, scientifically unsupported, and in many cases irreversible. Instead of caving to the gender ideology delusion, every state needs to reject it and pass laws protecting our children."

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SOURCE Liberty Counsel

CONTACT: Mat Staver, 407-875-1776, Liberty@LC.org