West Virginia

Crowds decry gender-affirming treatment ban in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Crowds at the West Virginia state capitol on Thursday begged lawmakers to show as much compassion for saving the lives of transgender children as they showed for unborn fetuses when they voted to ban abortion just months ago .

Over and over again during a hearing, dozens of doctors, parents and LGBTQ Republican supermajority people said a decision to ban gender-affirming childcare for youth would endanger the lives of children. Transgender and gender non-conforming children attempt suicide disproportionately, and West Virginia has the largest per capita population of transgender youth in the country.

“You all like to use rhetoric about not killing children as justification for passing legislation, as you did this summer. You will kill children if you pass this,” said Rev. Jenny Williams, United Methodist pastor in Preston County. “If you oppose the killing of children, as you say, I would hope that you would apply your principles consistently.”

“The hypocrisy here is significant and is not based on science but on fear,” said Alise Chaffins, a teacher who said she is also the parent of more than one transgender child.

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