Kansas governor vetoes ban on gender-affirming care for minors News
Ross Burgess, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Kansas governor vetoes ban on gender-affirming care for minors

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) vetoed SB 233 on Friday, a Senate bill aimed at prohibiting gender-affirming care for transgender youth, including surgery, hormone treatments, and puberty blockers. Additionally, it proposed revoking the licenses of doctors providing such care and restricting state funds for gender-affirming treatments.

Kelly stated that she vetoed the bill because “[t]he last place that I would want to be as a politician is between a parent and a child who needed medical care of any kind. And, yet, that is exactly what this legislation does.” Kelly went on to state that:

This divisive legislation targets a small group of Kansans by placing government mandates on them and dictating to parents how to best raise and care for their children. I do not believe that is a conservative value, and it’s certainly not a Kansas value.

Speaker for the Kansas House of Representatives Daniel Hawkins (R) condemned Kelly’s veto, stating:

As we watch other states, nations, and organizations reverse course on these experimental procedures on children, Laura Kelly will most surely find herself on the wrong side of history with her reckless veto of this common-sense protection for Kansas minors. House Republicans stand ready to override her veto to protect vulnerable Kansas kids.

The governor’s veto comes as gender-affirming care for minors has become a contentious political debate on the state level. States such as Ohio, West Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Montana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky have considered or passed varying bans on all or most gender-affirming care for minors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has condemned legislative bans on gender-affirming care, endorsing a gender-affirmative care model (GACM) including “the integration of medical, mental health, and social services, including specific resources and supports for parents and families.”