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The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass a bill that would protect children from some irreversible transgender surgeries. 

The bill, which was passed 199-175 with 12 Democrats voting in favor and two Republicans voting against, was amended to be significantly weaker from the initial proposal. As introduced, the bill would have prohibited giving children puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, which have been linked to problems with fertility, bone development, and heart health. It also would have banned procedures to remove the breasts of girls who identify as boys. The bill as passed only prohibits genital transgender procedures. 

“Adolescent genital gender reassignment surgery generally lacks both adequate information for informed consent and involves a high risk of coercion for parental consent when parents believe that they are faced with a choice between their child committing suicide or consenting to their child’s genital gender reassignment surgeries,” the bill says. “In the absence of high quality data to prove safety and efficacy, including long term outcomes, only people over the age of majority should receive genital gender reassignment surgery in the state of New Hampshire.”

Rep. Jonah Wheeler, one of the Democrats who joined Republicans in voting for the bill, said that it was necessary to shield kids from life-altering surgeries. 

“This is a question of whether or not you believe children should be able to get an irreversible surgery,” he said, according to the New Hampshire Bulletin. “So yeah, despite being a liberal who believes in human rights, I do not think that children should be able to get irreversible surgery. So I’ll take all the heat that comes from this.”

The bill is expected to pass the Senate and go to the desk of Republican Governor Chris Sununu, who has taken a variety of socially liberal positions in the past, including opposing a bill that would have given parents more oversight over what was going on at schools. 

Another bill to allow entities to keep males out of female sports, prisons, and restrooms was also passed by the Republican-controlled House and sent to the Senate, where Republicans also have a majority. 

Over 20 states have passed laws banning transgender procedures on children. Last week, Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH) vetoed a bill that would have banned transgender surgeries and giving children hormones and puberty blockers. Ohio Republicans, who have a supermajority in the legislature, could override DeWine’s veto later this year.

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