LINCOLN–(KFOR Feb. 9)–There was a long line of people outside of a hearing room at the State Capitol on Wednesday, waiting to get in and provide testimony on a bill that deals with transgender issues.
LB 574 from Omaha Senator Kathleen Kauth would ban gender-altering procedures on minors. Luka Hein, who had the procedure done, testified in support of the bill and felt regret about the procedure.
“I was just a teenager who needed actual help, not surgery,” Hein told the committee. “I needed to that chance to grow up safe and whole. But it was taken away from me in the name of gender-affirming care.”
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.
Opponents say the bill gives 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.
OutNebrsaka and the ACLU hosted a rally in the capitol rotunda before the hearing Wednesday in support of trans youth and access to gender-affirming care. Those opponents said decisions about procedures should be left to the patient, their parents, and their doctors.