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Mississippi Gov. Promises to Sign Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Youth

Mississippi Gov. Promises to Sign Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Youth

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves

Both houses of the legislature have OK'd the ban, and Gov. Tate Reeves says he's ready to stop what he calls "sick experimental treatments."

The Mississippi Senate Tuesday approved a ban on gender-affirming care for minors, already OK’d by the House, and Republican Gov. Tate Reeves says he’ll sign the bill into law.

“Sterilizing and castrating children in the name of new gender ideology is wrong,” Reeves tweeted Tuesday. “That plain truth is somehow controversial in today’s world. I called for us to stop these sick experimental treatments, and I look forward to getting the bill.”

In his State of the State address in January, Reeves said, “There is a dangerous and radical movement that is now being pushed upon America’s kids. It threatens the very nature of truth. Across the country, activists are advancing untested experiments and persuading kids that they can live as a girl if they’re a boy and that they can live as a boy if they’re a girl.”

However, gender-affirming care is not experimental, and it’s endorsed by the American Medical Association and other health care organizations. Genital surgery is almost never performed on minors — it’s not considered best practice — but young transgender people are often prescribed puberty blockers and hormones. Mississippi’s House Bill 1125 would ban all those treatments for people under 18. It will go into effect immediately when Reeves signs it, Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports.

Gender-confirming surgeries are already unavailable in Mississippi, and hormone therapy is available only to those 16 and older, with parental consent, the broadcaster notes.

Reeves is well known for anti-LGBTQ+ and specifically anti-trans stances. In March 2021, he signed a bill into law barring trans girls and women from competing in female sports in public schools, the first anti-trans bill to be signed that year.

Civil rights groups have promised to take legal action if HB 1125 becomes law. The American Civil Liberties Union’s Mississippi affiliate is asking supporters of trans rights to urge Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann to oppose the legislation.

States that have already restricted gender-affirming care for youth include Alabama and Arkansas, where laws are currently blocked by court action, and most recently, South Dakota and Utah (by legislation) and Florida (through action by medical boards).

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