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Care For Young Trans Mississippians Outlawed After Gov. Reeves Signs REAP Act

Young transgender Mississippians can no longer receive standard treatments, such as puberty blockers or hormone therapy, after Gov. Tate Reeves signed the REAP Act into law Tuesday afternoon. The bill also bans minors from obtaining gender affirming surgeries in the state, even though lawmakers admitted during debate on the House floor that no such surgeries are performed in Mississippi.

“These types of experiments often lead to a disruption of basic reproductive functions and ultimately infertility,” Reeves said at the bill signing in Jackson. “This is truly scary stuff. It’s being pushed upon our kids, and yes, their loving parents—they’re being taken advantage of.”

The bill, known as the “Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures Act,” bars public funds from going to “any entity, organization or individual that provides gender transition procedures to a person under eighteen years of age.”

‘An Act of Violence’

After Gov. Reeves signed the REAP Act, the North Carolina-based Campaign For Southern Equality sent out a statement from a coalition of LGBTQ+ advocates.

The Spectrum Center of Hattiesburg President Mickie Stratos decried Reeves’ decision as “an act of violence.”

Mississippi supporters of trans rights rallied at the Capitol against The REAP Act on Feb. 15, 2023, which bans standard treatments for transgender minors. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed it into law on Feb. 28, 2023. Photo by Kayode Crown

Stacie Pace, a health care provider who opened at Spectrum: The Other Clinic with her husband Lee Pace in Hattiesburg in 2019, warned that trans people could die because of the new law, which took effect immediately.

“We will of course abide by the law as it stands in Mississippi and cease to provide any services to those under the age of 18,” she said in the statement. “For those who have passed this law, we truly hope that they do not understand what they have done. Because to understand the implications of this bill’s passage is to be complicit in the increased suicidality and discrimination of this vulnerable population. Our hearts are heavy with the burden of knowing what this can lead to.”

While transgender minors have significantly higher

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