Mississippi Bans Trans Youth from Seeking Gender-Affirming Care

Mississippi Gov. signed. Tate Reeves (R) proposed a new law banning gender-affirming care for trans youth Tuesday amid Republican attacks against LGBTQ+ communities across the country.

Reeves, who is up for re-election this year, said the law is meant to combat “a dangerous movement that is spreading across America,” following conservative dog whistles about trans people that doctors say are causing harm. for already vulnerable young people.

“This is an appalling thing that is being forced upon our children and, yes, their loving parents,” Reeves said. “They are being taken advantage of, so some can push their views on gender or appear ‘woke’ to their friends.”

Utah and South Dakota recently passed similar laws, and at least 150 bills aimed at trans people have been introduced in state houses so far this year. Seven states now prohibit minors from seeking gender-affirming care (although judges have blocked such legislation in Arkansas and Alabama and suits are proceeding).

Human rights groups criticized Mississippi’s new law, painting it as a political decision meant to bolster Reeves’ re-election bid.

“This is a horrific attack on LGBTQ+ Mississippians and their families,” Rob Hill, Mississippi state director for the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. “(Reeves) is not in a position to dictate the health care decisions that doctors and their patients make. This is just an attempt to increase his flagging poll numbers ahead of a difficult re-election campaign.”

The Mississippi legislation takes effect immediately. It prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty-blocking medication or hormone therapy and bariatric surgery related to gender reassignment to anyone younger than 18. Any doctors found violating the ban can lose their medical license, and there’s a 30-year border statue to match. against those who break the law.

Major medical groups have deemed such care medically necessary. The American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics criticized the Republican-led efforts, saying the politically charged legislation is based on myths and misinformation about trans-childhood rather than medicine.

A survey released by The Trevor Project earlier this month found that continued Republican attacks on the youth are already causing harm. Among the LGBTQ youth sampled in the poll, a majority, 71%, said the debates and restrictive laws had a negative impact on their mental health, while 29% of trans youth said they did not feel safe going to the doctor or to hospital when they are sick or injured.

Reeves previously signed anti-trans legislation into law, a 2021 measure that banned transgender athletes from competing on girls’ or women’s sports teams.

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