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Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma.KJRH -TV | Tulsa | Channel 2 / YouTube

OKLAHOMA CITY (LifeSiteNews) – Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed into law legislation Tuesday to prohibit the allocation of government funds to gender “transition” surgeries for minors at Oklahoma University Health (OUH), one of the state’s top health centers.

Under the bill, “gender reassignment medical treatment” includes “any health care to facilitate the transitioning of a patient’s assigned gender identity on the patient’s birth certificate, to the gender identity experienced and defined by the patient.” Specific “treatments” are identified as “interventions to suppress the development of endogenous secondary sex characteristics,” “interventions to align the patient’s appearance or physical body with the patient’s gender identity,” and “medical therapies and medical intervention used to treat gender dysphoria.”

“By signing this bill today we are taking the first step to protect children from permanent gender transition surgeries and therapies. It is wildly inappropriate for taxpayer dollars to be used for condoning, promoting, or performing these types of controversial procedures on healthy children,” Stitt said of the measure, which took effect immediately.

“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,” the governor added. “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.”

The news follows the Oklahoma House of Representatives adding language to a hospital appropriations bill placing new conditions on the $39.4 million it is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for a new mental and behavioral health facility. The language established that none of that money may be used “for the benefit of any facility owned by the University Hospitals Authority or University Hospitals Trust performing ‘gender reassignment medical treatment’ … on children under eighteen (18) years of age.”

Oklahoma Children’s Hospital (OCH), which operates under the auspices of OUH, advertises on its website a “gender-affirming scope of treatment” for “youth” that includes “Pausing puberty to further explore gender,” “Managing gender-affirming hormone therapy,” “Helping find surgeons who perform gender-affirming surgeries,” and more. 

Amid the funding controversy, OCH announced that “OU Health Senior Leadership team is proactively planning the ceasing of certain gender medicine services across our facilities and that plan is already under development,” though it did not commit to halting specific procedures by name.

Biological sex is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected by hundreds of genetic characteristics, and defying it in the name of subjective, fluid “gender identity” carries significant physical and mental consequences.

Studies indicate that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide and may even exacerbate it, by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

On top of those issues, experts outside the medical establishment further warn that surgically or chemically reinforcing gender confusion imposes irreversible harm on children such as infertility, impairment of adult sexual function, and reduced life expectancy, as well as the psychological toll of being “locked into” physical alterations regardless of whether they change their minds when they mature, as attested to by many individuals who “detransitioned” back to their true sex.