only state in the Deep South that does not expressly prohibit doctors from recommending gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth.Louisiana’s bill failed in a vote in the state Senate Health and Welfare Committee when Sen. Fred Mills (R-New Iberia), the committee chairman and a pharmacist by trade, voted to defer the bill rather than pass it out of committee.Mills said his decision was heavily influenced by a 2022 Louisiana Health Department study on gender-affirming health care, which found that no gender-affirming surgical procedures had been performed on any minors enrolled in Medicaid in the state between 2017 and 2021.Instances in which medications, such as hormones or puberty blockers, were prescribed to transgender minors were also exceedingly rare, according to the report.Mills said he trusts physicians more than legislators to make medical decisions in a patient’s best interests.“I always in my heart of hearts have believed that a [medical] decision should be made by a patient and a physician,” he said, according to The Hill.Had it passed, the bill would have barred healthcare professionals from prescribing gender-affirming treatments to minors, or referring minor patients to places where they could obtain such treatments.
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