Sen. Thatcher: “I feel like I’m the only conservative on that floor”

Jan 19, 2023, 6:00 PM

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, reacts during the morning session of the Utah Senate to d...

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, reacts during the morning session of the Utah Senate to discuss several bills regarding transgender rights in Utah at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

SALT LAKE CITY — If you were watching the debate on the floor of the Utah Senate on Thursday, you may have seen Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, surrounded by people who were concerned about his health.

He told KSL NewsRadio’s Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News that he had recently been suffering from strokes, but that he was in no danger.

He’s caught between a rock and a hard place, he said, where a certain medication may negatively impact other issues involving his heart rate. He said time, and deep breaths, are the only thing he can use right now to regulate his heart rate.


The problem began during the debate over SB16, which would bar minors from having transgender-related surgery in Utah. Thatcher was arguing against the bill.

Sen. Thatcher bothered by talk of his health rather than Utah kids

“My biggest frustration is, we’re talking about this [his health] instead of all the kids we just hurt,” Thatcher told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News.

“Honestly right now, I feel like I”m the only conservative on that floor,” he said. “Here’s the truth. We know that chemotherapy is terrible on the human body.  We have tons of proof and evidence that chemotherapy is bad for you. So why don’t we ban that?”

The point he’s making is that chemotherapy, a treatment that attacks healthy cells in the human body, is chosen by doctors and patients because, despite the risks, it can be successful and add years to a person’s life.

Thatcher said we know the same is true for transgender-related surgery.

“We have truckloads of data that show that this [surgery] is lifesaving. This care is supported by every single credible medical and mental health organization on the planet. Everyone that actually looks at data instead of the politics.”

“So why are we prohibiting current best practices?”

SB16 places a ban on transgender-related surgeries for minors and pauses the use of hormone treatments for minors. On Thursday, the bill passed a Senate hurdle and Gov. Cox said he will not veto this bill.

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Sen. Thatcher: “I feel like I’m the only conservative on that floor”