Transgender people would be banned from getting gender-affirming surgery while they’re in state prisons under legislation approved by a House committee Wednesday.
The bill, HB 1569, defines what it calls “sexual reassignment surgery” as procedures meant to alter the appearance of or affirm the patient’s “perception” of their gender as being different from their gender assigned at birth.
Aaron Craft is the civil appeals section chief with the Indiana attorney general’s office. He said legal precedent allows the state to ban such surgeries for people in the prison system.
“Combined with the continued availability of hormonal and other, non-surgical therapies for gender dysphoric patients,” Craft said.
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The bill originally banned hormonal therapy as well, but that was removed by the House committee.
Katie Blair, ACLU of Indiana director of advocacy and public policy, said that doesn’t matter – the bill is unconstitutional.
“This bill would categorically force the [Department of Correction] to deny the only medically-accepted, evidence-based treatments available to incarcerated transgender people," Blair said.
The bill is headed to the House floor.
Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.