The Republican chair of the Health and Welfare Committee, state Sen. Fred Mills, voted against moving a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for minors to the state Senate for a full vote, essentially killing the bill (for now).
The bill had passed through the Louisiana House by a vote of 71-24.
Mills, a pharmacist, said witness testimony and reporting from the health department persuaded him to vote against the bill, which would ban health providers in the state from administering affirming care to patients younger than 18 or face losing their license.
“All the testimony I heard by the proponents that children are getting mutilated, I didn’t see it in the statistics,” Mills stated.
According to Mills, a Louisiana Health Department Report showed that no minors on Medicaid underwent gender-affirming surgeries, which are not recommended for adolescents, over a five-year period, and that just a few dozen received reversible treatments. Even medical prescriptions for trans youth were exceedingly rare.
“When you prescribe hormone therapies to these kids, they get better,” Louisiana psychologist Clifton Mixon told the state Senate health committee this week. “They want to live. They go to school. They get better grades. Their relationships improve, and they can begin to live a more normal teenage life.”
- Gender-affirming care can include hormone replacement therapy and puberty blockers, which are also often prescribed for cisgender or nontransgender youth, as well as social transitioning measures, mental healthcare, and affirming surgeries, which are not recommended under major medical guidelines.
Conservatives had a fit on social media.
Matt Walsh, a self-described theocratic fascist (yes, really), told his 2 million followers that Mills would regret his vote.
Another Louisiana state Freedum Kook, Greg Price, said Mills was receiving donations from Big Pharma, who gets rich from giving medications to trans youth.
Another social media user pointed out that Mills wore drag in an advertisement for his pharmacy.
Mills is not seeking re-election and is term-limited.
Mills’ businesses have received harassing messages, and the Louisiana Republican Party is pressuring state lawmakers to sidestep the committee process and put the bill on the Senate floor for a vote.