OAN Roy Francis
2:08 PM PT – Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi signed a bill which bans transgender surgeries for minors on Tuesday.
After Governor Reeves (R-Miss.) signed the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act, Mississippi became the seventh state in the country to ban underage transgender surgeries.
“No child in Mississippi will have these drugs or surgeries pushed upon them,” the governor said during the bill signing ceremony. “There is a dangerous movement spreading across America today. It’s advancing under the guise of a false ideology and pseudoscience being pushed onto our children through radical activists, social media, and online influencers. And it’s trying to convince our children that they are in the wrong body. I stand before you today to sign legislation that puts a stop to this in Mississippi and protects our kids.”
The law prohibits medical professionals from performing sex reassignment surgery, also known as gender-affirming surgeries, as well as prescribing puberty blockers or hormone replacements to anyone under the age of 18. Organizations that provide the now-banned procedures are now not eligible to claim public funds or tax deduction.
The Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure now has the power to also strip medical professionals of their licenses if they violate the new law, it also blocks Medicaid from covering transgender care for anyone under 18 years of age.
This comes among a strong push by conservative states to ban such procedures on minors. Utah and South Dakota have also passed similar laws on “gender transition procedures” in 2023. Other states who have passed similar laws include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Florida. According to the Movement Advancement Project, Tennessee and Texas are considering similar legislation as well.
Transgender activists and protestors have called such laws “discriminatory” and argue that politicians are banning medical best practice for youths who are gender dysphoric. The American Medical Association, along with other medical organizations, have said that restrictions on transgender surgeries could lead to harmful effects on the mental health of trans youth.
“This law shuts the door on medical best practice and puts politics between parents, their children, and their doctors,” the American Civil Liberties Union said. “This life-saving care was already difficult to access for trans youth across the state, and is now entirely out of reach.”
“At the end of the day, there are two positions here,” Reeves said after signing the bill. “One tells children that they’re beautiful the way they are. That they can find happiness in their own bodies. The other tells them that they should take drugs and cut themselves up with expensive surgeries in order to find freedom from depression.”