In a massive blow to LGBTQ+ rights, a prominent Oklahoma-based hospital has ended its gender-affirming care for trans youth due to an archaic new law.
On 4 October, the state’s conservative governor Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 3 into law. Under the new legislation, the University of Oklahoma Medical Center and its children’s hospital will be eligible to receive over $108 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
However, due to Stitt’s anti-trans political stance, the prestigious hospital will only be able to collect the funds if they ban gender-affirming care for trans youth under the age of 18.
According to NBC News, OU Health’s children’s hospital offers puberty blockers and hormone therapy for patients up to age 24. “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.