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Kansas Anti-Transgender Medical Care for Minors Bills Tossed from House Hearing!


CNS NewsKansas House Rep. Brenda Landwehr expelled the first protester clutching a sign from Thursday’s anti-transgender legislation hearing. Wichita Republican Landwehr, chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, bounced someone from the second row 45 minutes later while questioning proponents of legislation significantly restricting minors’ access to gender-affirming medical care.

She initially warned the standing-room-only crowd that any outbursts would be unacceptable and that offenders would be asked to leave or escorted out by Capitol Police uniformed officers. “I said no talking, no disruption, and I meant it,” Landwehr said. “I think I was plain.” Landwehr told a teacher opposed to legislators prying into schoolchildren’s personal lives that “if you’re talking, you’re not listening.”

Near the end of the day, Landwehr slapped her gavel to dismiss Lawrence transgender activist Iridescent Riffel for saying a vote for anti-transgender bills would “be on your hands.” Landwehr ordered the expulsion: “Please leave the room or we will escort you out.” The 100-minute hearing included testimony from proponents and opponents of House legislation restricting under-18 Kansans’ access to transgender health services and medical interventions.

The committee did nothing on the two House hearing bills. Transgender legislation was heard Thursday in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. The committee chair, Eudora Republican Sen. Beverly Gossage, said she wanted to “protect the children” in Kansas from gender-affirming medical care for minors.

She advised against treating children, even if supported by parents, until they were adults. Former Nebraska physician Ivan Abdouch treated Midwest transgender patients for 30 years. He didn’t like government regulation of medicine, but it was needed to protect young Kansans from gender-affirming care.

He urged the House committee to support legislation banning gender-affirming medical care for minors. House Bill 2791 would consider treating minors whose gender identity differed from birth sex child abuse. It would allow lawsuits against doctors and nurses who violated the proposed law, which must pass the House and Senate and face a likely veto by Gov. Laura Kelly.

“How can we predict a child or adolescent’s lifetime gender trajectory? We can’t. No one can,” Abdouch said. What are the risks of inaccurate medical or surgical treatment? Unjustified, irreversible, lifelong harm.” However, Wichita marriage and family therapist Asher Wickell was concerned about a bill denying minors health care.

Kansas Anti-Transgender Medical Care for Minors Bills Tossed from House Hearing!

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He called it an outrage to stop state-funded insurance from covering such care and to allow medical providers to be sued for treating all patients. He said the law violated major medical and mental health professional associations’ guidelines. “Its sweeping, intrusive demands are reckless and dangerous in their disregard for Kansas’ children and families,” Wickell said.

“Simultaneously, the bill creates unresolvable legal and ethical dilemmas for mental health providers, threatening to worsen our state’s vast mental health shortages.” The majority of House committee witnesses opposed HB 2791, introduced by Coffeyville Republican Rep. Ron Bryce, a Texas-licensed physician who cannot practice in Kansas.

Bryce compared transgender surgery to lobotomies for depression and told the House committee the state must prohibit tax dollars from funding “futile and unsafe gender-transition of children.” He stressed that state law should prohibit health professionals from advocating medical or surgical transitioning of a child at state-funded psychological disorder facilities.

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