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  • Writer's pictureAylmer Johnson

Governor of Mississippi enacts a ban on transgender health care for minors

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves recently signed a bill that bans specific transition-related health care for minors, making Mississippi the seventh state to enforce such restrictions. The bill bars puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery for children. The new law also prohibits public funding from going to any institution or individual that provides such care to minors. Healthcare providers who violate the law could have their licenses revoked. The law also permits children who receive transition-related care to sue providers for up to 30 years after treatment.

Governor Reeves, a Republican, cited the spread of what he called a "dangerous movement" as a primary reason for enacting the ban. The movement, he said, was advancing under the guise of a false ideology, and pseudo-science was being pushed onto children through radical activists, social media, and online influencers. According to Reeves, this movement aims to convince children that they are in the wrong body and can attain happiness with just one surgery.

Mississippi is one of 23 states this year to consider restrictions on gender-affirming healthcare for minors, which can include puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and, in rare cases, surgery. The bill's principal author, Republican Representative Gene Newman, did not respond to comment.

The new law makes exceptions for intersex infants, circumcision on babies assigned male at birth, and the treatment of health conditions unrelated to gender dysphoria, which is the distress caused by a sense of conflict between a person's assigned sex at birth and their gender identity.

This bill is part of a wave of state legislation that targets LGBTQ people. State lawmakers have introduced over 300 bills targeting LGBTQ people this year, with most of the bills focusing on transgender youths. In the last three years, 18 states have banned transgender girls from playing on girls' sports teams at school, and at least 15 states are considering similar measures this year.

Stacie Pace, the owner of Spectrum: The Other Clinic, which provides transition-related care, said that no children are undergoing gender-affirming surgeries in the state, and there are not even options for the bottom (genital) surgeries for adults in Mississippi. Pace added that anyone under 18 only receives gender-affirming medication after a thorough multidisciplinary evaluation, and parents are always involved.

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