Louisiana lawmakers on Tuesday voted to override Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards’ veto on a bill that would ban gender reassignment surgeries for minors.
The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 75-23 to override Governor Edwards’ veto and reinstate House Bill 648. Titled the Stop Harming Our Kids Act, the bill would prohibit medical providers in the state from performing gender reassignment surgeries or prescribing puberty blockers to minors.
The veto override was soon adopted by the Louisiana Senate, where Republicans control 27 of the body’s 39 seats. One Democrat ended up joining Republicans on Tuesday as the Senate voted to adopt the measure in a veto session that lasted for just a few hours.
Republican State Senator Gabe Firment, who sponsored the bill, previously told Fox News that it was “veto proof” due to Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress. “Thanks to the bi-partisan support of the Louisiana State Senate, we are one step closer to protecting children in Louisiana from experimental chemical and surgical sex change procedures. HB648 has passed both chambers of the state legislature with veto-proof majorities, and the people of Louisiana have made it clear that our children are worth fighting for,” Firment said in a statement.
Governor Edwards had vetoed the bill on June 29, arguing that it “denies healthcare to a very small, unique, and vulnerable group of children.”
“Today, I was overridden for the second time, on my veto of a bill that needlessly harms a very small population of vulnerable children, their families, and their health care professionals,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “I expect the courts to throw out this unconstitutional bill, as well.”
With the passage of the bill, Louisiana will become the 21st state to outlaw “gender affirming care” for minors. In the south, all states except the Carolinas have opted to ban such practices, though both are currently considering legislation to do just that. Like Louisiana, North Carolina’s Democrat governor is expected to veto the state legislature’s ban, which passed last month.