Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill this week that blocks funding going to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health for children’s gender transition services — such as transgender surgeries, puberty blockers, and hormones.
In a Wednesday phone interview with The Daily Signal, Stitt acknowledged the media uproar over the legislation but pointed out that “it’s really not controversial in Oklahoma.”
“It’s pretty common sense to us,” he said. “We found out that one of our university hospitals was doing irreversible gender transition surgeries, hormone therapies to minors. And we just don’t think that’s right. Minors need to be protected. We don’t let minors drink alcohol. We don’t let minors do a lot of things and life-altering surgeries for a minor, we just think it makes no sense whatsoever.”
The governor’s office noted in a press release that the hospital has promised to cease certain “gender medicine procedures” after members of the Oklahoma Legislature raised concerns about the hospital’s Roy G. Biv Program.
“We’ve talked to the board of the hospital, the board members there,” the governor told The Daily Signal. “They’re totally on board. They were shocked. A lot of people didn’t know what was happening. And so the hospital has agreed, they’re shutting that down, what they call the Roy G. Biv program at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital.”
Major media outlets who have covered the signing of the bill have described the legislation as “withholding hospital funding over trans youth care” or blocking the hospital from “providing gender-affirming care.”
Stitt slammed the media for using “fancy terms” like this, emphasizing that in actuality, “this is taking a 12 year old [whose] brain is not fully developed and castrating them.”
“These are permanent issues—sterilizing people, cutting off reproductive organs,” he insisted. “This is not normal.”
“You’ll hear people say, ‘Well, hormone therapies, they’re just a pause.’ That’s not true. These things have irreversible damage. Your brain is being developed.”
Pediatricians who speak about the matter off the record for fear of being blackballed or criticized also argue that there is “zero science” behind this, the governor argued.
“We’re just not going to allow a minor and a parent to do that with taxpayer dollars in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “And again, 95% of Oklahomans agree with me. Hispanic community agrees with me. Asian community. There’s only the far, far extreme left that thinks this is normal.”
Democratic activists and lawmakers who put such heavy emphasis on making sure children can access “gender affirming care,” or trans surgeries and procedures, seek to “placate” special interest groups, the governor added. And Republicans should be asking them exactly where they draw the line on castrating children.
“They won’t give you an answer,” he warned.
“People are looking for leaders,” the governor continued, asked whether he hoped other Republican governors would follow his lead. “They’re looking for someone to talk common sense or looking for people to just stand up to say, you know what, we believe in traditional family values.”
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