Borjon, Concanon keep Kansas safe for child sex mutilation surgery

Doctors in Kansas can continue unabated with surgeries that mutilate the sex organs of children who have mental conditions, thanks to the votes of two Republican legislators this week.

Representatives Jesse Borjon of Topeka and Susan Concannon of Beloit defected from the Republican-led majority in the veto override vote of Senate Bill 233 – the “Forbidding Abuse Child Transitions Act” – which would have  banned  doctors from performing sex change surgeries and related chemical therapies on minors in Kansas. Some 20 States have adopted similar bans in one form or another. Proponents needed a 2/3 majority to override override Democrat Governor Laura Kelly’s veto.

Borjon and Concannon initially supported the bill, but succumbed to pressure from Democrats in the followup and changed their vote in the override tally. Concanon is a graduate of Bethany College, the only NAIA college in Kansas on the record as saying it will not follow a new division ruling banning men from competing in women’s sporting events.

Paradoxically referred to as “gender affirming care,” current Kansas law allows parents to give permission for children under 18 suffering from gender dysphoria to begin procedures such as removal of penises, testicles and breasts and artificial construction of sex organs in surgeries known to leave to extensive medical complications in almost all cases in the future. A similar bill failed to override Governor Laura Kelly’s veto last year.

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Opponents of the ban say encouraging the symptoms of gender dysphoria shows caring, understanding and acceptance of patients that contributes to their well-being. Gender dysphoric individuals are statistically at high risk of suicide and self harm whether or not they undergo sex change surgeries. Ron Bryce, a family practice physician from Coffeyville and Representative from District 11, cited The Cass Review as the latest and most powerful report on the dangers of such surgeries.

“The truth is – these treatments are not safe,” Bryce said. “They are not effective. And there is no need to expose children to potentially horrific complications associated with these treatments, such as lifelong sterility, physical mutilation, illness, and hopelessness.” He said studies consistently show children at least 85% of gender dysphoric children will grow out of it fairly quickly, if given support and appropriate psychiatric care. 

The 82 votes in favor of overriding Kelly’s veto included:

Anderson, Awerkamp, Barth, Bergkamp, Bergquist, Blew, Blex, Bloom, Bryce, Buehler, Butler, B. Carpenter, W. Carpenter, Clifford, Collins, Corbet, Croft, Delperdang, Dodson, Droge, Ellis, Eplee, Essex, Estes, Fairchild, Francis, Garber, Gardner, Goddard, Goetz, Hawkins, Hill, Hoffman, Hoheisel, Houser, Howe, Howell, Howerton, Humphries, Jacobs, Johnson, Kessler, Landwehr, Lewis, Mason, Maughan, McNorton, Minnix, Moser, Murphy, Neelly, Owens, Penn, Pickert, Poetter Parshall, Proctor, Rahjes, Resman, Rhiley, Robinson, Roth, Sanders, Schmoe, Seiwert, A. Smith, C. Smith, E. Smith, Stiens, Sutton, Tarwater, Thomas, Thompson, Titus, Turk, Turner, Underhill, Waggoner, Wasinger, Waymaster, White, K. Williams, L. Williams,

The 43 votes opposing the veto:

Alcala, Amyx, Ballard, Borjon, Carlin, Carmichael, Carr, Concannon, Curtis, Featherston, Haskins, Haswood, Helgerson, Highberger, Hougland, Hoye, Martinez, McDonald, Melton, Meyer, D. Miller, S. Miller, V. Miller, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Oropeza, Osman, Ousley, Poskin, Probst, L. Ruiz, S. Ruiz, Sawyer, Sawyer Clayton, Schlingensiepen, Schreiber, Stogsdill, Vaughn, Weigel, Winn, Woodard, Xu, Younger,

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.

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