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Mississippi House Passes Ban On Treatments For Transgender Minors

JACKSON, Miss.—A bill that would prohibit transgender minors from accessing trans-inclusive health care could become law after the Mississippi House passed it by 78-28 vote this afternoon.

The bill, known as the “Regular Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act,” would prohibit standard treatments such as hormone therapy and puberty-blocking drugs by barring public funds from going to “any entity, organization or individual that provides gender transition procedures to a person under eighteen years of age.” It would still need approval from the Mississippi Senate and Gov. Tate Reeves’ signature before becoming law.

Before the vote, Human Rights Campaign Mississippi Director Rob Hill told the Mississippi Free Press that he is “concerned” because he knows the families of transgender children and teens.

“And it’s already a very challenging situation being able to afford the kind of care they need and the mental health impact it has on these young people,” he said. “This is not a decision the parents or children make lightly, and so I worry about the mental health of the young people. I worry about the mental health of the parents and family of the loved ones.

“Because we know that even when these bills are introduced, they can have an impact, even when they don’t pass. It’s a dangerous thing all around. Trans youth disproportionately attempt and unfortunately succeed at suicide. So that’s a very scary thing. And these decisions should be made by family members, not by politicians. And their job is to do good—to work for the good of their constituents.”

While transgender minors have significantly higher rates of suicide than their peers, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday found that transgender teenagers who receive gender-affirming hormone treatments experience improved mental health and lower levels of depression.

In addition to banning hormone therapy and puberty blockers, the bill specifically bans “gender reassignment surgery.” Hill said that issue is a red herring.

“That’s misinformation going around; they use words like ‘gender reassignment’ or ‘mutilation,’” he said. “The only care trans youth receive is mental health care or puberty blockers, which is

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