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Democrats attempt to amend bill that would ban gender affirming care but are blocked by Republicans

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle haven't budged on senate bill 480
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Posted at 10:34 PM, Mar 23, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle haven't budged on Senate Bill 480.

SB 480 would prohibit gender transition procedures for minors. This bill would take away a parent’s right to choose gender affirming care for their children.

Republicans say this bill is about protecting kids. Democrats say the Indiana General Assembly is inserting itself into the hospital rooms of kids and their families.

Democratic Rep. Robin Shackleford offered four amendments to the bill but all failed. They are listed below.

  • Allowed minors who were already receiving hormone therapy as of June 2023 to continuetheir treatment
  • Removed the prohibition on hormone therapy and reversible puberty blockers while still prohibiting surgical intervention
  • Allowed therapies to continue only if a physician determined it was in the best interest of the minor and parents/guardians have given informed consent
  • Created a civil cause of action against the state if cutting off gender transition therapy caused a child measurable harm

SB 480 comes as several bills are focused on expanding parent's rights.
Speaker of the House Rep. Todd Huston said his caucus feels that gender affirming care has too many long-term side effects to leave up to choice. SB 480 would also require minors that are already on hormones or puberty blockers to transition off of them in six months.

"Being on those drugs for a long period of time have medical consequences,” Huston said. “Other people in the medical community feel like the bill hits the right spot. The drugs should be used for certain medical conditions, not all."

Democrats feel that this bill is invasive and goes against Hoosier values.

"This is health care for kids that are going through a transition period in their life. Let's leave it up to parents to make those decisions,” Democratic Minority Leader Rep. Phil GiaQuinta said.

The next time SB 480 is discussed, it will be on its third reading in the House.

If it passes, it heads to Governor’s desk.