(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) While COVID cash fraud has run rampant, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, this week announced a unique way of using the leverage of American Rescue Plan Act loot to protect children.
Stitt signed legislation that blocks COVID cash from funding gender transition services for minors at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health, effectively banning gender-reassignment drugs and therapies from being prescribed to youths younger than 18-years-old.
Lawmakers had allocated $109 million of COVID relief money to the state’s largest children’s hospital, slated to be used to increase and expand capacity of behavioral health care for children. None of funding will be available to use for gender-transitioning of youths, with or without parental consent, which the hospital offered through “gender-affirming hormone therapy” and assistance to “find surgeons who perform gender-affirming surgeries.” The funding prohibition took effect this week.
“By signing this bill today we are taking the first step to protect children from permanent gender transition surgeries and therapies,” Stitt said in a statement.
“It is wildly inappropriate for taxpayer dollars to be used for condoning, promoting, or performing these types of controversial procedures on healthy children.”
OU Health has pledged to stop offering the trans procedures, according to officials. Radical LGBT activists blasted Stitt for a bill that they claimed “will cost transgender and nonbinary youth their lives,” OU Daily reported.
“It’s just sort of a worst case example of what we see too regularly from the politicians in the Oklahoma legislature — that their priority isn’t caring for Oklahomans. It’s advancing in their personal political agendas,” said Nicole McAfee, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, which has its own decidedly political agenda to advance.
Stitt agreed that the bill is flawed, in that it doesn’t go far enough to protect children, and is pushing to ban gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors statewide.
“I am calling for the legislature to ban all irreversible gender transition surgeries and hormone therapies on minors when they convene next session in February 2023,” Stitt said.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to what’s happening all across our nation, and as governor I will not allow life-altering transition surgeries on minor children in the state of Oklahoma.”