February 24, 2023 : Mississippi will evolve as the third state this year to ban gender-affirming healthcare for those under 18 after the state Senate passed the law on Tuesday. The bill only anticipates the signature of Gov. Tate Reeves (R), a ghoul who earlier implied that kids who pursue gender-affirming care are being exploited “as guinea pigs” by “modern progressivism.”
Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act would prohibit standard treatment for minors seeking gender-affirming medical supervision, such as hormone medications and puberty blockers, by prohibiting “any entity, organization or individual that provides gender change procedures to a person under eighteen years of age” from accepting public budgets.
In approach, this means a hospital that provides gender-affirming care for kids couldn’t receive state Medicaid dollars and means that Mississippi will now merge Utah, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Alabama in passing laws that actually ban healthcare for trans children. (Arkansas and Alabama’s laws are presently held up in court, while administrative rules have enabled bans in Texas and Florida.)
In the debate on the House version of the bill (which passed on January 19), bill co-sponsor Rep. Nick Bain (R, duh) expressed a “wait-and-see approach” is essential when it comes to the healthcare of trans youth, as per the Mississippi Free Press. I feel the need to regurgitate here that, regardless of what conservatives at all levels of government keep regurgitating, minors are not receiving gender-affirming surgeries like breast removal or vaginoplasty. Instead, these prohibitions mean parents can’t find proper healthcare for their kids. Instead, these kids and their families become acutely conscious that the state does not tolerate their presence.
“Mississippi legislators are placing HB1125 as a measure to protect kids, when the truth is that this bill will do the exact opposite. Access to gender confirming medical care is a top indicator of healthy and favorable outcomes for trans people,” expressed in a statement Mickie Stratos, president of the Spectrum Center of Hattiesburg. “To criminalize that care is a direct attack on the emotional, physical, and mental health of trans youth, and we will see adverse outcomes for the trans youth and their families in MS as a consequence.”
Mississippi is the newest state where rightwing lawmakers’ relentless pursuit of making trans lives terrible from birth until death has braced fruit, and there are presently at least 95 bills targeting some or all aspects of trans healthcare that have been in various state legislatures this year alone, as per the ACLU. But this state-by-state assault on trans people does not happen in a single legislative session. Instead, Mississippi is at the forefront of conservatives’ latest attack on human rights.