Numerous Organizations Condemn Legislators’ Attacks on Healthcare Freedom and Raise Alarm about Statehouse’s Anti-Democratic Legislative Process

HB 2791 and HB 2792 are scheduled for hearings this Thursday, February 29.


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Esmie Tseng, Communications Director, ACLU of Kansas, [email protected]
Taryn Jones, Lobbyist, Equality Kansas, [email protected]
Rabbi Moti Rieber, Executive Director, Kansas Interfaith Action, [email protected]
Melissa Stiehler, Director of Advocacy, Loud Light Civic Action, [email protected]
Michael Poppa, Executive Director, Mainstream, [email protected]
Anamarie Rebori-Simmons, Communications Director, PPGP Votes, [email protected]
Zack Gingrich-Gaylord, Communications Director, Trust Women Foundation, [email protected]
Communications Department, URGE, [email protected]

TOPEKA, KAN. – An unprecedented number of statewide groups have come together to condemn two bills that would attack young transgender Kansans’ freedom to access healthcare. The two bills, HB 2791 and HB 2792, are scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

Additionally, the ACLU of Kansas, Equality Kansas, Kansas Interfaith Action, Loud Light, Mainstream, Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, Trust Women Foundation, and URGE are raising the alarm on anti-democratic processes by legislators that prevent everyday Kansans from participating.

“Trans youth should have the same chance to thrive as their peers—but these bills single out trans youth for unequal treatment,” said D.C. Hiegert, LGBTQ+ Legal Fellow of the ACLU of Kansas. “Not only do these bills discriminate by allowing non-transgender youth access to the same exact healthcare they are banning for trans youth–but they also violate parents' rights and Kansans' constitutional freedoms. These bills would set a precedent that medical providers should not give you the best medical care available, but instead will be forced to give you the medical care that Kansas politicians have decided on for you."

Puberty blockers and other forms of medical care listed in these bills are frequently provided to non-trans, such as cisgender or intersex, youth. Currently, Kansas doctors providing this care individualize it to meet the needs of each patient through a careful model of assessment and informed consent as required by state and federal laws and policies.

“The tragedy here is that extremists have hijacked our legislative process for their own political ends, without regard for the human cost along the way,” said Amber Sellers, Advocacy Director, Trust Women. “These are dangerous attacks on our bodies and intrusions on our medical care that threaten the wellbeing of our children, our communities, and our families.”

The two bills, HB 2791 and HB 2792, are currently scheduled for hearings before the House Committee on Health and Human Services this Thursday at 1:30 p.m at the statehouse. To provide testimony, the public is required to comply with various burdensome rules, rendering the process inaccessible to the majority of everyday Kansans who do not spend time in the capitol.

In order to submit testimony to the House Health Committee, members of the public must email their testimony and physically provide five hard copies to the committee. In some cases, a committee chair or committee member’s assistant may be able to print copies for the individual–if they know how to contact these people and what to ask, which many in the public don’t. Numerous organizations have received reports from Kansans of their written testimony being completely rejected by the House Health Committee when not accompanied by physical copies.

In addition to the House Health hearing, HB 2791 was scheduled with the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare for a Thursday morning informational hearing, which does not allow public or oppositional testimony. However, late Tuesday, it was unclear whether this would instead be a public hearing followed by an immediate vote, which would mean even less than 48 hours notice was provided to the public to meet a 24-hour deadline for testimony submission.

“The House and Senate hearing processes make it clear that lawmakers aren’t even pretending to hear the voices of Kansans most impacted by these bills–they’ve completely silenced them,” said Taryn Jones, Lobbyist, Equality Kansas. “If only everyday Kansans were meaningfully allowed to participate, these committees would have clear proof that there is significantly more opposition to these bills than what they have allowed–but this hearing is clearly not in the spirit of good faith lawmaking.”

“Legislators who lack professional medical expertise risk disrupting medical practice in the state by attempting to select practice guidelines outside of specialized medical association’s recommendations,” said Wulf Roby, Director of Development and Communications, Loud Light Civic Action. “Every major medical association advocates against bills like these."

HB 2791 would effectively ban access to gender-affirming medical care for trans people under 18 years old and restrict state employees from providing or promoting social transition or gender-affirming care to trans people under 18. The bill’s extremely broad language threatens providers such as therapists, nurses, and physicians with strict liability lawsuits and licensure implications and also bans them from obtaining liability insurance to protect themselves. The bill does not define what it means to “promote,” “provide,” or “advocate” for social transition or gender-affirming medical care—potentially disrupting the work of mental and medical health professionals but also school counselors, teachers, daycare providers, and other employees who interact with trans youth. HB 2791 also violates patients, parents, providers, and state employee’s constitutional rights.

HB 2792 would effectively ban physicians licensed by the Board of Health and Healing Arts from providing “gender transition surgery” to trans people under 18, contradicting the most current and comprehensive standards of care guidelines. The bill also forces all Kansas medical providers to follow a single, incomprehensive care guideline–illustrating a significant overreach by the government into medical practice standards that would disrupt the Kansas medical profession and interfere with Kansas medical providers’ ability to provide best-practice up to date care.

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The ACLU of Kansas is the statewide affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU of Kansas is dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. For more information, visit our website at

Equality Kansas was established in October 2005. Originally formed by the merger of independent LGBT advocacy groups in Topeka, Manhattan, and Wichita, Equality Kansas is a chapter-based grassroots organization. Our mission is to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We work towards our mission through education, public policy advocacy, and political action. More at

Kansas Interfaith Action is a statewide, multifaith issue–advocacy organization that “puts faith into action” by educating, engaging and advocating on behalf of people of faith and the public regarding critical social, economic, and climate justice issues. KIFA supporters are shaped by the values of our diverse faiths, which connect us to an age–old concern for justice, peace, and human dignity. Rooted in faith, we join hands across difference to work for moral public policy in Kansas. Learn more at

Loud Light Civic Action engages, educates, and empowers individuals from underrepresented populations to build community power that has an impact on decision makers. We’re Transforming Kansas through increasing youth civic engagement, protecting and expanding the right to vote, and increasing government transparency. Learn more at

Mainstream is dedicated to creating a more representative and responsive government by empowering informed participation and meaningful action in the political process. We envision a Kansas political system that represents all of its constituents. Learn more at:

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes is an independent, nonpartisan 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. We lobby state lawmakers, mobilize more than 120,000 grassroots supporters, and engage in issue education in order to protect and expand access to health care and comprehensive sex education in the communities we serve, and to promote Planned Parenthood’s mission. Learn more at

Trust Women Foundation is a leading reproductive rights advocacy organization and health care provider. With clinics in two states that have been at the center of the struggle for abortion justice for decades, we have a direct, on-the-ground perspective regarding the current state of reproductive health care and its future. Learn more at

URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity is a state-driven national organization building a young people’s movement for Reproductive Justice by providing infrastructure to young advocates across the South, Midwest, and California. In Kansas, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture. To learn more, please visit

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published this page in Blog 2024-02-28 06:13:11 -0600
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