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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: December 2, 2022 09:15 AM
From: Representative Jessica Benham and Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El, Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
To: All House members
Subject: Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy
Conversion therapy is a dangerous and discredited practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

The practice of conversion therapy, which many refer to as conversion abuse, is strongly opposed by the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychoanalytic Association, American Psychological Association, National Association of Social Workers, Pan American Health Organization, and the World Psychiatric Association. Approximately 698,000 LGBTQ adults in the United States have reported receiving conversion therapy, including at least 350,000 LGBTQ individuals who received treatment as minors. This abusive practice is correlated with depression, trauma, and suicide in patients. In an effort to prevent further harm to LGBTQ youth, 20 states and the District of Columbia have banned health care professionals from using this treatment on minors.

While the Governor’s recent actions by executive order were an important first step, it is crucial that Pennsylvania join the many other states that have taken further action to protect the physical and psychological well-being of LGBTQ minors. Our bill, the Protection of Minors from Conversion Therapy Act, seeks to address harms associated with conversion therapy by prohibiting a mental health professional from engaging in this archaic treatment with an individual under the age of 18.

Please join me in protecting Pennsylvania’s youth from this incredibly harmful and widely discredited practice.

Introduced as HB575