By LEAH WILLINGHAM
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Crowds pleaded with lawmakers at the West Virginia Capitol on Thursday to show as much compassion for saving the lives of transgender children as they showed for unborn fetuses when they voted to ban abortion. Doctors, parents and LGBTQ people told the Republicans that a decision to ban gender-affirming care for youth would put children’s lives at risk. Transgender children attempt suicide at a disproportionately high rate. West Virginia has the largest per capita population of transgender youth in the nation. At least 88 bills seeking to restrict gender affirming care for minors or young adults have been introduced across 26 states. West Virginia’s measure prohibits gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy for youth.