Republicans in Pennsylvania’s Freedom Caucus have at least temporarily blocked a bill funneling taxpayer dollars to Penn State University following news that the university hospital is prescribing puberty blockers to children.
House Bill 1456 failed to reach the needed two-thirds majority threshold Thursday that it required to pass the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
“The Pennsylvania Freedom caucus made it clear at the beginning of the budget process that we would lead the opposition to taxpayer funding of Penn State if any policy that endangers the health and welfare of our children remained in place,” Republican state Rep. David Rowe said in a statement.
“The Democrats’ failure to reach the two-thirds majority required for final passage shows that we have broad support for our effort to protect Pennsylvania’s children, and we look forward to continuing the dialogue with Penn State to see these harmful policies abolished,” he added.
The bill, which would have provided over $259 million to Penn State University, is not dead. But with 81 votes on its second consideration, the bill will not be able to progress to its final passage yet, as it requires a two-thirds threshold for funding.
“Whatever version appears next we see as a continued dialogue thanks to the attention PAFC brought to this issue,” PAFC State Director Nick Kerin told The Daily Signal. “Though the bill isn’t dead, we pledged opposition and followed though.”
Penn State’s Gender Health Program offers “comprehensive, gender-affirming care for children, adolescents and young adults up to age 25 in a supportive and safe environment.” “Gender-affirming care” is an activist euphemism used to encompass so-called puberty blockers, hormones, and even transgender surgeries.
Though Penn State Health Children’s Hospital says that its surgeons do not perform surgeries, they will make referrals to other surgeons. The hospital specifically advertises on its website that “The clinic’s pediatric endocrinologist provides puberty-blocking medications, cares for people with differences of sexual development and cares for patients who are younger than 10 years old.”
On June 7, the Pennsylvania Freedom Caucus had pledged to lead opposition to the hospital’s funding due to its pediatric puberty blocker policy. PAFC Chair and state Rep. Dawn Keefer, a Republican, promised at the time that the caucus would “not even consider a yes vote if policies that endanger the health and welfare of children remain unchanged.”
“To sit by and allow public funds to be used in experimental activities causing reversible harm to children, some under the age of 10, makes lawmakers complicit in this abuse couched as health care,” Keefer said.
Penn State did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal.
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