Kansas Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Children From Transgender Surgeries

Naveen Athrappully
By Naveen Athrappully
April 14, 2024US News
Kansas Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Children From Transgender Surgeries
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly gives her inaugural address for her second four-year term on the south steps of the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan., on Jan. 9, 2023. (John Hanna/AP Photo)

The governor of Kansas vetoed a bill seeking to protect minors from gender transition surgeries, insisting that it “tramples parental rights.”

On Friday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed Substitute Bill for Senate Bill 233 prohibiting health care providers from performing transgender surgeries and procedures on children. The bill allows a civil cause of action against providers offering such treatments with professional disciplinary action taken against such individuals. The bill restricts the use of state funds to promote gender transition procedures. SB 233 also prohibits professional liability insurance firms from covering damages for health care providers offering gender transition procedures to children.

Senate Bill 233 was passed by the Senate in February with a vote of 26–11. In March, the House passed the bill with a vote of 80–40. In her veto message, Ms. Kelly said the bill “tramples parental rights.”

“This divisive legislation targets a small group of Kansans by placing government mandates on them and dictating to parents how to best raise and care for their children. I do not believe that is a conservative value, and it’s certainly not a Kansas value,” the Democrat governor said.

Kansas House Speaker Daniel Hawkins criticized Ms. Kelly for vetoing SB 233, also known as the Help Not Harm Act.

“As we watch other states, nations, and organizations reverse course on these experimental procedures on children, Laura Kelly will most surely find herself on the wrong side of history with her reckless veto of this common sense protection for Kansas minors. House Republicans stand ready to override her veto to protect vulnerable Kansas kids,” he wrote in a social media post.

Countering Trans Agenda in Kansas

During a hearing in February last year, multiple individuals testified in support of the bill. Chloe Cole, an 18-year-old from California, recounted her story of gender transition between the ages of 12–16 and then eventually de-transitioning back into a woman.

“She was treated negligently by her healthcare provider but the biggest failure made was encouraging and allowing her to medically transition as a child in the first place,” according to minutes of the hearing. “She has suffered a multitude of complications from the blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery. Her quality of life is still being impacted to this day.”

Arthur Schaper, field director for pro-family group MassResistance, said they were alarmed at the “growing craze” to allow children to change their sex, pointing out that they were essentially harmful procedures.

“He said the facts are evident from a growing body of research that although children may experiment with pretending to be the sex that they were not born to be, they end up growing out of that phase of life and become comfortable with their natal sex,” the minutes stated.

“Just because a child ‘feels’ a certain way does not mean that authority figures should capitulate to children’s fantasies. He said this is all about money and not the well-being of the children.”

In addition to SB 233, Kansas has taken several other steps to counter the spread of transgender policies in the state.

Kansas introduced Bill SB 180 which provided clear definitions of females and males. A female was defined as “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to produce ova,” while a male was “an individual whose biological reproductive system is developed to fertilize the ova of a female.”

The terms “woman” and “girls” were defined as words to be used to refer to human females. Similarly, the terms “boys” and “man” were attributed to human males.

Ms. Kelly had also vetoed SB 180. However, in April last year, the legislature overrode the veto, making Kansas the first state in the United States to have a definition of gender.

The definition seeks to keep men out of women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. The bill limits participation in sports to one’s birth sex.

In September, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said that the state shall not allow people to change their sex on birth certificates to their preferred gender identity.

The decision came after SB 180 went into effect on July 1. In a Sept. 16 X post, Republican state Attorney General Kris Kobach said that Kansas birth certificates “are state records that must reflect scientific fact as recorded by the doctor at the time of birth.”

Last month, a Kansas judge ruled the state has the constitutional right to refuse to recognize a person’s preferred gender on driver’s licenses.

From The Epoch Times

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