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June 24, 2024
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Minutes for HB2791 - Committee on Health and Human Services

Short Title

Enacting the forbidding abuse child transitions act, restricting use of state funds to promote gender transitioning, prohibiting healthcare professionals from treating children whose gender identity is inconsistent with the child's sex, authorizing a civil cause of action against healthcare professionals for providing such treatments, authorizing professional discipline against a physician who performs such treatment, prohibiting professional liability insurance from covering damages for healthcare providers that provide gender transition treatment to children and adding violation of the act to the definition of unprofessional conduct for physicians and nurses.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 29, 2024

Asher Wickell, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 23). The bills sweeping, intrusive demands are reckless and dangerous.The bill also creates unresolvable legal and ethical dilemmas for mental health providers. The risk of civil liability for providers will strongly incentivize them to leave the state. Kansas cannot afford to encourage such departures.

Marcillene Dover, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 24). Ms. Dover provided her experiences with students she taught who were possibly experiencing transgender dysphoria. This bill will not allow her to care for the well being of her students.

Ms. Dover responded to questions from the committee.

Dr. Malati Harris, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 25). The guidelines for treatment of gender dysphoria has been extensively studied and have been proven safe and effective. Dr. Harris has always weighed risk vs benefit in every treatment discussion with the patient. In regards to gender affirming care, Dr. Harris implored the legislature to defer to the judgment of the experts in the field. Puberty suppression is not new medicine. It has been used to treat other conditions for 40 years. The negative outcomes from not medically treating transgender youth outweighs the potential of risk of side effects or negative outcomes from gender affirming hormone treatment.

Jaelynn Abegg, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 26). A 2022 report by the Williams Institute estimates that there are 2,100 transgender children aged 13-17 in Kansas, representing about 1 in every 100 children in that age group. A study in 2020 showed that 56% of these youths had attempted suicide. In 2022 a study showed that gender affirming care could reduce  suicides in transgender youth by 73%.

Anthony Alvarez, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 27). Mr. Alvarez was transgendered at the age of 15 and was able to put a name to the discomfort that overshadowed his life. Mr. Alvarez provided an overview of his transitioning. HB2791 would have robbed him the of the opportunity to talk to an experienced doctor and would have robbed his parents of the knowledge of what their son was going through.

Mr. Alvarez responded to questions from the committee.

Kiernan McCarty, Private Citizen, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 28). Mr. McCarty provided an overview of his transitioning experience. While going through the process, each physician provided him with ample amount of written informational packets and resources. Mr. McCarty is a whole, functional and healthy 22 year old human being who have been taking testosterone and undergoing required blood tests twice a year for 7 years without any complications.

D.C. Hiegert, LGBTQ+ legal fellow, ACLU of Kansas, provided testimony in opposition to HB2791 (Attachment 29). HB2791 violates the state and federal constitutional rights of Kansas children, parents, therapists, doctors, teachers and other state employees. It poses an unprecedented threat to Kansas families. By effectively banning the only evidence based healthcare options for gender dysphoria, the bill far exceeds the appropriate government regulation of medicine and threatens parent's ability to access the nationally recommended best-practice healthcare for their children.

The following provided written only testimony in opposition (Attachment 30).