Photo courtesy of Justin Murphy

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Opponents of anti-trans legislation dominated a Thursday public hearing. Of the 81 speakers, 79 were opposed to passage of HB 2007, which would ban lifesaving medications for trans people under the age of 18.

The bill’s original language only barred gender-affirming surgical procedures on minors, a practice which does not occur in West Virginia. However, the House Judiciary Committee amended the bill earlier this week to also ban all hormone therapies for trans youth. If it is allowed to go into effect, HB 2007 will have detrimental effects on the mental, emotional, and physical health of transgender people across the state.

Trans West Virginians, their family members, doctors, therapists, advocates, and others spoke at the public hearing.

“Far more trans kids packed the House Chamber this morning than our governor thinks exist in the whole state,” said Eli Baumwell, ACLU-WV interim executive director, in reference to Gov. Jim Justice’s tone-deaf comments last year. “We hope their voices are heard by every legislator, especially those who chose not to attend in-person and face the very people their legislation is intended to harm.”

“The parents of a transgender youth should have the ability to get their child the prescribed medication they need. This decision should rest with families and doctors—not politicians,” said Isabella Cortez, gender policy manager with Fairness West Virginia. “This is medically necessary, lifesaving care, and House Bill 2007 will kill trans youth. I’m glad that West Virginians understand what’s at stake and showed up to speak out against this bill.”

Alisa Clements, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic public affairs director, said:

“This bill is really about attacking people who are transgender. What's more, the sponsors of this bill are also shamefully spreading medical misinformation. People of all gender identities deserve access to high-quality, affordable, and nonjudgmental health care and accurate information about their health care options, full stop. Politicians need to stay out of our exam rooms and let families make decisions that are best for their children and their future.”