News (USA)

Mississippi has banned gender-affirming healthcare for anyone under 18

Gov. Tate Reeves
Gov. Tate Reeves (R) Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed H.B. 1125, known as the “Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act” into law. As Axios notes, the law, which went into effect immediately, prohibits the provision of “gender transition procedures,” including puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgeries, to anyone under the age of 18.

Under the new law, healthcare workers who provide gender-affirming care to minors will have their licenses revoked. It also allows patients to sue healthcare providers up to 30 years after receiving treatment, and denies state or federal funding to state organizations that provide gender-affirming care to minors.

Gender-affirming care for both adolescents and adults has been endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychiatric Association, and many other professional groups as necessary and frequently lifesaving for transgender individuals. Recent research suggests that gender-affirming care like hormone therapy improves the mental health of transgender youth experiencing gender dysphoria.

During a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Reeves parroted anti-trans claims that have been largely debunked by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“There is a dangerous movement spreading across America today. It’s advancing under the guise of a false ideology and pseudo-science. It’s being pushed onto our children through radical activists, social media, and online influencers,” Reeves claimed. “It’s trying to convince our children that they are in the wrong body. This dangerous movement attempts to convince these children that they are just a surgery away from happiness.”

“This is truly scary stuff that’s being pushed upon our kids and, yes, their loving parents,” Reeves continued. “They’re being taken advantage of, all so some can push their warped view on gender or appear to be ‘woke’ for their friends.”

Anti-transgender advocates often claim that young people who are only coming out as transgender or nonbinary in greater numbers because of “social contagion,” that is, social pressure to do so. However, a 2022 study found that this hasn’t actually increased the number of trans-identifying adolescents who live in 16 different U.S. states.

Reeves was joined at the ceremony by anti-trans filmmaker and Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh as well as activists from Alliance Defending Freedom and Madison County Moms for Liberty, two organizations that oppose the expansion of LGBTQ+ civil rights.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Mickie Stratos, president of The Spectrum Center of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which provides health services and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people, characterized Reeves’s decision to sign the bill as “an act of violence.”

“He and the lawmakers who pushed this bill in Mississippi are willfully ignoring the unique needs of transgender young people, interfering with their medical care and sending a stigmatizing, exclusionary message,” Stratos said.

Mississippi is now the third state to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Utah and South Dakota passed similar legislation earlier this year.

Other similar laws passed in Arkansas and Alabama have been halted by court challenges. Last April, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Alabama to block S.B. 184, a state law signed by Gov. Kay Ivey last year that would criminalize gender-affirming medical care for trans youth. Previously the DOJ had filed a brief in 2021 supporting doctors and transgender families suing the state of Arkansas for a similar ban.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Trans athlete wins lawsuit to compete in USA Powerlifting events

Previous article

Soccer is part of my culture. But am I a welcome part of soccer culture?

Next article