BATON ROUGE (LifeSiteNews) — A Republican Louisiana state senator on Wednesday cast the tie-breaking vote to block a bill that would have outlawed destructive “transgender” surgeries and drugs for children.
Pharmacist and Louisiana Republican Sen. Fred Mills sided with Democrat colleagues in a 5-4 vote on the Senate Health and Welfare Committee May 24 to shoot down the bill, also known as the “Stop Harming Our Kids Act.” If passed, the measure would have prohibited the performance of mutilating surgeries and the prescription of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors.
The move by the Republican senator came after the state House of Representatives previously passed the measure, HB 648, in an overwhelming 71-24 vote.
As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, transgender surgeries have been linked to permanent physical and psychological damage, including cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, infertility, and drastically increased instances of suicidality. Moreover, studies indicate that over 80 percent of children suffering from gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence.
During the Senate hearing, Mills argued that the decision about whether or not to mutilate children should be made by patients and physicians.
“I’ve always in my heart of hearts believed that a decision should be made by a patient and a physician,” he said, according to The Daily Wire. “I believe in the physicians in Louisiana, I believe people that are licensed by the Board of Medical Examiners are well regulated.”
However, Dr. Jennifer Bauwens, director of Family Research Council’s Center for Family Studies and a former clinical psychologist, argued that medical professionals have abandoned “basic practices of good mental health treatment” in favor of gender ideology.
“Sadly enough, some in my profession have set aside this basic understanding of child neurological, emotional, and cognitive development,” Bauwens said during the hearing, according to The Washington Stand. “Instead, they have embraced what has been referred to as ‘gender-affirming care,’ which permanently alters the human psyche and physiology through puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical procedures to remove healthy body parts.”
“Gender-affirming care is the most invasive and unnecessary physiological intervention connected to a psychological issue,” she said.
Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards had reportedly engaged in fierce lobbying efforts to smother the bill, which would have aligned Louisiana with neighboring Republican-led states Arkansas, Mississippi, and Texas, as well as nearby Alabama and Florida, which have already passed similar legislation to shield children from the life-altering surgeries and pharmaceutical interventions.
A lack of legislation banning the procedures in Louisiana is likely to set up the state as a destination for people seeking the mutilating interventions.
Republican Rep. Gabe Firment, who sponsored the “Stop Harming Our Kids Act,” decried the failure of the bill in a statement obtained by The Daily Wire.
“I am very disappointed in the outcome of today’s Senate Health & Welfare committee meeting,” he said. “HB648 simply protects Louisiana’s children from experimental and often irreversible sex change procedures. The legislation passed easily through the House with bipartisan support, and I am confident that the full Senate would have passed this important legislation that is overwhelmingly supported by the people of Louisiana.”
“It is unfortunate that the voice of the people was silenced today in a state Senate committee room,” Firment continued. “Louisiana remains the only state in the South to allow its children to be harmed by these experimental procedures, but we will keep fighting to pass this legislation and protect Louisiana’s children no matter the cost and despite the forces aligned against us.”
In comments to The Washington Stand, Louisiana Family Foundation president Gene Mills suggested some hope may still remain to revive the bill during the current legislative session.
“They killed it, but it’s still on life support. It can be resurrected,” the group’s leader said, pointing to a rule whereby a Senate majority “may recall a legislative instrument from a committee and discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill, in which case the instrument shall be recommitted to another committee.”
Though he said “[t]hat doesn’t happen very often,” he suggested that senators can still “rectify this wrong by simply bringing the bill directly to a floor vote.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Fred Mills isn’t the only Republican in recent days to vote with the Democrats on the issue of transgenderism.
Earlier this month, Vermont’s liberal Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed two bills to bolster the state’s legislative protections for both abortion and transgender interventions. The bills define “legally protected health care activity to include reproductive health care services and gender-affirming health care [sic],” and set the stage to penalize pro-life pregnancy centers by opening them up to prosecution according to state statutes prohibiting false or misleading advertising, VT Digger reported.