Thursday, September 29th 2022, 5:30 pm
State lawmakers approved nearly $40 million in funding for the University of Oklahoma Medical Center from the American Rescue Plan money, but that money comes with stipulation.
The money is to be used to create a new facility that would focus on treating the mental health of children and teenagers, but lawmakers do not want it to be used to offer services for transgender youth.
The bill states, “No money shall be budgeted or expended…for the benefit of any facility providing ‘medical sex reassignment treatment,’ to children under the age of 18.”
Because of this Bill, OU Health announced the new facilities were never intended to provide these services and they are stopping certain gender medicine services at their facilities.
OU Health said in a statement: "The legislature restricted the use of the funds from benefitting facilities performing certain gender medicine services. The new mental and behavioral health facility was never intended to provide such care. The OU Health Senior Leadership team is proactively planning the ceasing of certain gender medicine services across our facilities and that plan is already under development."
The Interim Director for Oklahomans for Equality, Alex Wade, is disappointed.
"I hope with this change that more hospitals make an active effort to support the LGBT community and our trans kids,” Wade said.
OU currently offers medical services related to gender identity for those up to 24 years old, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy.
September 29th, 2022
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