Indiana governor Eric Holcomb (R.) signed a bill Wednesday banning sex-change medications and procedures for minors, joining 12 other states that have passed similar measures.
Holcomb signed Senate Bill 480, a move which comes as red and blue states push opposing legislation governing cross-sex treatments for minors. Opponents of the new law, which bans all transgender procedures for minors, have already filed suit to challenge it, the Associated Press reported.
"Permanent gender-changing surgeries with lifelong impacts and medically prescribed preparation for such a transition should occur as an adult, not as a minor," Holcomb said in a statement.
The bill comes as Oregon Democrats push the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Act, which would allow minors to obtain sex-change surgery and abortions without parental consent. The bill goes so far as to require insurers to cover some of these elective surgeries, such as facial reconstruction.
Republicans praised Holcomb’s bill, with Sen. Mike Braun (Ind.) saying, "A child cannot consent to irreversible sex change surgery, and Indiana will no longer allow children to take dangerous drugs with long-term consequences like puberty blockers and hormone therapies in the name of extreme gender theories."
"We really felt common-sense policy to help protect kids, and that’s really the biggest reason we wanted to get this done," said the bill’s author, state senator Tyler Johnson (R.).
Jane Henegar, the American Civil Liberties Union executive director in Indiana, vowed to challenge the law.
"In addition to targeting an already vulnerable group, this law blatantly disregards the rights of parents and families to make decisions about their children’s health," she said in a statement.