HB 470 passes: what does this mean for gender transition services?

KENTUCKY- House Bill 470 has passed the House much to the dismay of some, and joy of others.

The bill states that gender transition services under the age of 18 by a medical or mental health provider is unprofessional and unethical.

“I felt that this bill gets in the way that it’s putting the state between the relationship of physicians and the families,” said Graves Gilbert Board Certified Family Medicine Physician Dr. Craig Losekamp.

Dr. Losekamp testified in opposition of the bill at the hearing on Thursday, concerned that the care he now provides, which doesn’t include puberty blockers or hormone therapy, would go against the bill because of its language.

“I have kids that I’m arranging to see therapists we’re talking about their options down the road, they’re just exploring who they are,” said Dr. Losekamp.

Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Dr. Terry Brooks also disagrees with the bill, pointing out that doctors would be liable and could lose their license.

“It’s really that simple…it’s that if medical professionals deliver that care, they face significant legal and professional charges,” said Dr. Brooks.

He also worries about the impact on LGBTQ kids.

“Some of the most respected national studies suggest that over 60% of LGBTQ kids have some suicidal ideations, meaning that at some point they at least think about suicide,” said Dr. Brooks.

But, Rep. Jennifer Decker, who is a sponsor of the bill, argues this will protect children…as their brains are not fully developed under 18 to make these decisions.

“There is no quality long term study to establish there is no long term benefit to gender transition services and more importantly there is long term evidence that these services result in permanent, life-long harm to children,” said Decker.

The bill heads to the Senate next.