KENTUCKY — A majority of Kentucky voters would oppose a proposed state law that would allow the state to overrule parents’ decisions to get health care for their transgender teenager according to a new poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy released Thursday, Feb. 23.
The poll was conducted from Jan. 18 through Jan. 23, 2023 and randomly surveyed Kentucky voters by landline and cellphone numbers and randomly surveyed over 625 registered voters in Kentucky by landline and cellphone. The poll asked them the following question:
“Would you support or oppose a proposed Kentucky law that would allow the state to overrule parents’ decisions to obtain certain health care for their transgender teenager, such as certain medications that can regulate the onset of puberty?”
Of Kentucky voters surveyed, 71% say they would oppose such a law, with 21% saying they would support it and 8% saying they are undecided, the poll finds.
The polling data revealed the trend transcends regional differences, party affiliation and gender identity. In Louisville, 80% of voters say they would oppose such a law, along with 79% of central Kentuckians and 65% of northern Kentuckians, according to the poll. In the more rural parts of the state, 64% of voters in eastern Kentucky and 66% of voters in western Kentucky say they would oppose such a law, the poll finds.
A majority of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters are also in opposition. Of Democrats, 83% are opposed, with 14% in support and 3% undecided, according to the poll. 62% of Republican voters are opposed, with 26% in support and 12% undecided, the poll finds. With Independent voters, 67% say they are opposed, with 20% in support and 13% undecided.
In a breakdown by gender, the poll finds 66% of males and 75% of females would oppose such a law.
The polling comes as the Republican-led legislature is in session and has filed several bills related to transgender Kentuckians. Rep. Jennifer Decker, R-Waddy, introduced House Bill 470. The bill would penalize health care providers who provide gender transition services to people under 18 years old. It was fast-tracked to committee the day it was introduced, and has 35 sponsors.
The bill proposes that the provision of transition services “to a person under the age of 18 by a medical or mental health care provider is unethical and unprofessional conduct.” It would also strip providers of their license and hold them liable for damages and costs.
While HB 470 covers a broad sweep of providers and organization — including schools, insurance providers and Medicaid — it does not mention what the bill would do regarding parents who seek that care, whether in Kentucky, or in another state.
The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.