BISMARCK – Two contentious transgender bills were considered on the North Dakota State House floor Friday, with one bill passing and the other failing.
House Bill 1254 would create a class B felony for healthcare providers who perform transgender surgeries or give gender-affirming medication to minors.
“Our children are being targeted and experimented upon in an unbelievable measure,” said Rep. Lori VanWinkle, Dis. 3, Minot. “How much will our nation allow the degradation of our sacred principles, our sex, and reproduction? We are faced with a decision I can barely believe is a matter of debate.”
The bill sponsor told the assembly of a minor who regretted her decision of a transgender surgery.
“Certainly, there are parts to this bill that I think most of us would agree to, specifically as it is to altering people physically, and that’s why there are no physicians or providers in North Dakota who provide that care,” Rep. Josh Boschee, D-Dis. 44, Fargo, told the assembly. “What they do provide is treatment with puberty blocking medication, which is reversible. I know just looking around and seeing how uncomfortable you are with this discussion, I get it. You may not know someone in your life who’s gone through this. For previous speakers to say that we are weaponizing suicide when the data shows us that not only are all our youth at higher risk of suicide now more than ever, but LGBT youth specifically. And it’s because of bills like this.”
The bill passed 66 to 25 and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration.
House Bill 1301 would have created a civil penalty for parents of minors injured by transgender surgeries, allowing the minor, when grown, to sue within 30 years his or her parents, doctor who performed the surgery, and the medical institution that allowed the surgery for any damage caused and medical expenses.
“It’s important that we allow the individual who was wronged to also bring a violation or a civil suit,” said the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Brandon Prichard, R-Dis. 8, Bismarck. “There’s a lot of laws that have a criminal violation and a corresponding civil suit, in fact most of them do.”
“We’ve made it clear surgery, any hormonal treatment is a criminal violation, we just passed that,” said Rep. Robin Weisz, R-Dis. 13, Hurdsfield. “So now you’re getting into this whole realm of private right of action. Why? It’s not necessary.”
The bill failed 62 to 29.