Health Advice



KY legislature bans gender-affirming care for kids after last-minute swap

Alex Acquisto, Tessa Duvall and Austin Horn, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Health & Fitness

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky General Assembly voted Thursday to ban gender-affirming care for transgender kids as a part of an omnibus anti-LGBTQ bill, following a last-minute committee substitute.

The Senate vote was 30 to 7, with one Republican voting against it and one Democrat voting for Senate Bill 150. The bill now goes to Gov. Andy Beshear, who has indicated his opposition.

But even if Beshear vetoes the bill as expected, the legislature will return for two days later this month and could override that veto.

House Bill 470 passed the House two weeks ago as a ban on the prescription of puberty-blocking hormones, gender re-assignment surgery, and inpatient and outpatient gender-affirming hospital services for any Kentuckian under age 18, but the bill got hung up in the Senate this week when several GOP members expressed their concerns.

On Wednesday, Senate Republicans voted to dramatically scale back a bill that many in the party said went too far because it left trans kids with no health care options.

But Thursday, Sen. Max Wise, R-Campbellsville, and Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, introduced an amended version of Senate Bill 150 that would do just that. It passed a hastily called House education committee, and less than an hour later was on the House floor, where it won near-unanimous Republican support, 75-22.


The two days before the veto period were the latest sign of disunity among Kentucky Republicans in a session marked by a raft of GOP legislation to combat “woke” issues. The final days of the legislature’s regular session have revealed division and infighting among the political majority as they grapple with how far to wade into national culture wars.

Easy passage in the Senate

Sen. Danny Carroll, R-Benton, successfully amended a similar bill just one night before to exclude prohibitions on puberty blockers for transgender youth. In a floor speech, Carroll said that he had heard of a young person who was born female that considered suicide when menstruation began.

“What would it hurt to allow doctors to have access to these puberty blockers to give these kids time to work through these issues that they face. What if we trust our doctors, as we do for every other sickness, to guide us through these things.”


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