The Wisconsin Senate, which is controlled by the GOP, just voted on Tuesday in favor of a bill that the state GOP has characterized as protecting children in the state by blocking access to transgender surgeries, puberty blockers, and cross-sex hormones for minors other than those who have a birth defect or other disorder requiring such procedures.
The bill was Assembly Bill 465, which was passed in a 22-10 vote on Tuesday. The Republican contingent in the legislature unanimously voted in favor of the bill. The state’s Democrat governor, however, has vowed a veto of the bill.
If passed, the legislation would bar health care providers from “engaging in, or making referrals for, certain medical intervention practices upon an individual under 18 years of age if done for the purpose of changing the minor’s body to correspond to a sex that is discordant with the minor’s biological sex,” according to the bill’s text.
However, the bill does make an exception to the ban for those minors “born with a medically verifiable genetic disorder of sex development.” Such procedures are also allowed to treat “any infection, injury, disease, or disorder that has been caused by or exacerbated by the performance of a gender transition medical procedure.”
The bill provides another exception for “any procedure undertaken because the minor suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the minor in imminent danger of death or impairment of a major bodily function unless surgery is performed.”
As an enforcement mechanism, the bill also provides, “Under the bill, the Board of Nursing, the Medical Examining Board, and the Physician Assistant Affiliated Credentialing Board are required to investigate any allegation that any person licensed or certified by the respective boards has violated any of the prohibitions on engaging in, causing the engagement in, or making certain referrals for the medical intervention practices described in the bill. Upon a finding by the Board of Nursing, the Medical Examining Board, or the Physician Assistant Affiliated Credentialing Board that the holder of a license or certificate has violated any of these prohibitions, the bill requires the Board of Nursing, the Medical Examining Board, or the Physician Affiliated Credentialing Board to revoke that person’s license or certificate.”
For doctors and other medical providers reliant on licensure for operation, that is a heavy penalty to bear for non-compliance, one which would likely make the bill effective at its stated goal if it somehow becomes law instead of being vetoed.
However, Governor Tony Evers vowed to veto the bill, posting on X, “Today, the Assembly is voting on a series of anti-LGTBQ bills targeting our trans kids. It’s scary. And it’s downright dangerous. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—not one of these bills will become law in Wisconsin as long as I am governor. Period.”
The Wisconsin Republicans, though they control both houses of the state legislature, do not have enough votes to override a veto from Governor Evers, so the bill is likely dead unless Governor Evers is persuaded to change his mind or Democrats in both houses can be won over.
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