The Republican-majority House of Delegates in West Virginia passed a bill that prohibits minors from undergoing gender-affirming surgeries and hormone therapy. The legislation passed 84-10, with the 10 votes against coming from the state’s Democratic delegation. The Democrats accused the Republican lawmakers of putting children’s lives at risk to score political points with the national conservative movement.
“Once again, we have put politics over people, we have put politics over health care, we have put politics over bodily autonomy,” said Democratic Del. Danielle Walker, who wore a transgender pride flag as she spoke. West Virginia is one of 26 states considering similar bans, with South Dakota and Utah recently passing similar legislation.
Many medical professionals and organizations have argued that the treatments are safe and beneficial for young transgender people, however, long-term research is lacking. The bill, which now heads to the state Senate, provides exceptions for individuals with certain medical conditions and those in imminent danger of death or major bodily function impairment.