TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A proposed bill in the Indiana Senate would ban gender transitioning care for those under the age of 18.
Terre Haute Pride Center Interim Co-President Katie Lugar had strong feelings regarding the news that Senate Bill 480 was passed in the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee.
“The Indiana General Assembly has launched a full and direct attack on the LGBTQ+ community,” Lugar said.
Lugar said that at least a third of those who are served by the pride center identify as transgender or non-conforming. She said that number could even be closer to 50%.
She fears that banning gender affirming care in the Hoosier state could have grave consequences for youth.
“I am really fearful that we’re going to see increases in self-harm and suicide risks among our trans kids,” Lugar said.
The bill passed the Health and Provider Services Committee by a vote of 8-3. Lugar said that this sends a clear message from the statehouse that they don’t believe that the lives of transgender children do not matter.
“We should have access to healthcare regardless of our gender identity or what our needs are,” Lugar stated.
State Sen. Dr. Tyler Johnson is the author of the bill. Johnson said at the beginning of our hours of testimony earlier this week that the bill would save Hoosier children from what could be a harmful procedure.
“This bill is common sense public policy to protect Hoosier children from irreversible, unproven and life-altering procedures,” Johnson said.
Lugar said that the pride center aligns itself with medical providers who say that this practice should be made available to youth.
She explained that she’ll continue to fight as there’s still plenty of time left in this legislative session.
“The legislative session is not over,” Lugar said. “We want to continue to do what we can to ensure that our LGBTQ rights, especially for youth, are protected.”
The bill needs a full senate vote by Tuesday or the bill will die.