‘Let Them Grow’ bill draws lots of divided testifiers
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Wednesday afternoon, dozens of people lined the halls of the capitol building to give testimony on what’s being called the ‘Let Them Grow Act’.
The bill, LB 574, deals with controversial transgender issues.
It would ban gender-altering procedures on minors, and it’s a topic that brought out strong emotions from people on both sides of the testimony.
State Senator Kathleen Kauth, who introduced the bill, said it would protect kids who have gender dysphoria from damaging procedures.
“As adults, we understand that a child’s brain is not fully formed and cannot comprehend the ramifications of making irreversible medical decisions,” Kauth said.
The bill would prohibit puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment procedures until a person turns 19 years old, by making it illegal for doctors to perform those procedures, or prescribe hormones or puberty blocks to anyone under 19.
Doctors who break the law could face punishment from the state licensing board and the parent or patient would be able to sue the doctor in civil court if they regretted the procedure.
One testifier, Luka Hein, feels that regret.
“I was just a teenager who needed actual help not surgery,” Hein said. “I needed the chance to grow up safe and whole but it was taken away from me in the name of gender-affirming care.”
Doctors against the bill said giving minors access to medications like puberty blockers, which are reversible, helps them make decisions regarding gender reassignment surgeries.
“Buying them and their family precious time to make decisions about whether or not additional treatment is desired without feeling rushed into a decision,” said Dr. Elizabeth Constance.
Before the hearing on Wednesday, OutNebraska and the ACLU hosted a rally in the capitol rotunda in support of trans youth and access to gender-affirming care with about 100 people in attendance.
Those opponents said decisions about procedures should be left to the patient, their parents, and their doctors.
Copyright 2023 KOLN. All rights reserved.