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Senate votes to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth

Senate lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban medicinal and surgical gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Lawmakers opposing the bill call it an unfair attack on transgender kids.

SB 480 bans a number of hormonal treatments and surgeries for minors – including prescribing testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, and surgeries like penectomies, vaginoplasties and phalloplasties. But it provides exemptions as long as those treatments aren’t for gender dysphoria.

Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said if the procedures were truly harmful, then the ban would target those procedures – regardless of diagnosis.

“Are you really trying to protect children? Or are you trying to demonize children?” Taylor said.

READ MORE: What is gender-affirming care?

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The bill’s author, Sen. Tyler Johnson (R-Leo) said the bill protects kids from what he calls “unproven and irreversible” treatments. Most major medical organizations and international guidance disagree with that claim.

“I’ll repeat that we have the medical, moral and legal obligation to protect Hoosier children,” Johnson said.

Sen. Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) said the legislature is “bullying children.”

“We are targeting a very extraordinarily small and extraordinarily vulnerable–vulnerable population making them targets of further harassment and restriction,” Yoder said.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified Sen. Shelli Yoder's district as Yorktown. That was incorrect. It is Bloomington.

Lauren is our digital editor. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.

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Lauren Chapman