Rob Hill, State Director-Mississippi, Human Rights Campaign, speaks during a press conference sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign at the Mississippi State Capitol outside on the south steps, Monday, January 31, 2022 in Jackson, MS. (AP Photo/Charles A. Smith for The Human Rights Campaign - Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. all rights reserved.)
Attacking LGBTQ+ Mississippians does not solve any problems or make life easier for working folks in this state.
It is outrageous that politicians here in Mississippi, who don’t have an ounce of medical training, are now interfering with our rights as parents. They are acting as if they know how to raise and support our children better than we do.
Children’s health care decisions should be left up to the child, their parents, and their doctor. The last thing we need is the government stepping in and telling parents how they should or should not care for their children.
But that’s exactly what will happen if a bill that is swiftly moving through the Mississippi Legislature becomes law.
Last week, the Mississippi Senate Judiciary Committee advanced HB1125, which has already passed the House. This bill prohibits licensed medical doctors from providing age appropriate, medically necessary, gender-affirming care to transgender youth – even though professional medical and mental health professional organizations representing millions of providers have repeatedly spoken out in opposition to legislation like this bill., If our legislators have their way, they will interfere with Mississippi doctors’ ability to provide best-practice, often life-saving care to their patients – putting the wellbeing of children all across this state at risk.
What’s worse is that, in addition to banning doctors from providing gender-affirming care, HB1125 would also block insurance companies and Medicaid from reimbursing parents for their children’s care, forcing parents to choose between the health of their child and their finances. No parent should have to make that choice. If it becomes law, doctors providing gender-affirming treatment will risk losing their licenses and be subject to civil lawsuits for 30 years.
Attacking LGBTQ+ Mississippians, their families, and their doctors does not solve any problems or make life easier for working folks in this state. The only thing it accomplishes is to further demonize and alienate transgender kids, who are already among our most marginalized, and put the parents and doctors who care for them at risk.
Families in Mississippi deserve better.
The fact is that the Magnolia State is home to many, many LGBTQ+ kids. They deserve to grow up feeling safe, respected, and loved for who they are. But that can’t happen if they are under attack by politicians out to serve their own interests.
Let’s be clear. This bill is extreme. It is rooted in misinformation and lies. And it is in direct contradiction with medical best practices.
Every single credible medical organization – representing more than 1.3 million American doctors – says that age-appropriate gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people is necessary. Health care providers who work with transgender and non-binary people — including young people — are providing life-saving care every single day. In many cases, patients are forced to drive hundreds of miles just to get to their doctor’s office.
Public policy should be based on facts, not on what politicians think will play best to their base. That’s especially true when it comes to policies that impact kids. The Mississippi Senate should end this charade. HB1125 should not become law.