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Oklahoma City, Okla. — As the 2SLGBTQ+ community and advocates see more bills (SB 613 and HB 2271) move forward banning transgender Oklahomans from receiving healthcare they need, the interest and advocacy groups representing doctors, healthcare workers, hospitals and other medical institutions remain silent.
As the legislative session begins, Sen Julie Daniels proposed draconian bans on healthcare for transgender Oklahomans. She claimed she has not heard from any healthcare organizations on these bills except OU Health, who she claims reviewed it.
These bills target doctors, nurses, physicians assistants and hospitals with criminal prosecution for providing widely accepted medical care for transgender Oklahomans. One of the bills goes so far as to ban all funding for such procedures, in violation of federal rules, and advocates say it would cause catastrophic damage to our entire medical system
In a Senate Rules Committee hearing on February 8th, advocates sat and listened to hypocrisy and lies for an hour while legislators, who could not name a single instance of someone harmed by transitional surgery in Oklahoma, failed to answer basic questions about policy implications, impacts to the medical community and who requested this legislation.
Silence as legislature attacks transgender best practice medical care
Of serious concern is the silence from the business and medical community.
“Right now, legislators are listening to uninformed and bigoted opinions about transgender people. These laws impact many other Oklahomans and introduce incredible government overreach into the healthcare system. Legislators who lack any medical or psychological training are passing laws telling families and transgender adults what medical care they can and cannot receive. This is a clear violation of people’s individual rights and an attack on our medical community.” Says Nick Singer, Director at Oklahoma Progress Now.
“I am deeply concerned that Sen Julie Daniels mentioned running this by the office of the President of OU Health, Dr. Richard Lofgren. Why is the president of a health system aligning against patients? Additionally, the Oklahoma City and Tulsa Chambers of Commerce, the State Medical Association and other healthcare providers are not standing with patients against these anti-business, anti-science, anti-medicine hate bills. The economic damages and criminal liability to our medical community would be incredible, in addition to violating their oaths to do no harm and serve patients without discrimination.”
Straight, cisgendered and heterosexual children and adults receive “gender affirming care” every year. Surgeries for cosmetic issues, weight loss, hair removal, facial alterations and others happen to children and adults in clinics and hospitals all over Oklahoma.
“These bills are an attack on all Oklahomans but especially our 2SLGBTQ community. We cannot sit by while people are targeted for who they are.” Says Nick Singer.
Oklahoma Progress Now is a nonprofit focused on building progressive power and holding public officials accountable in Oklahoma. More details can be found at www.okprogressnow.org