The law now prevents a healthcare provider from offering medications and procedures to anyone under 18 with the intent of gender transitioning.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed House Bill 1125, the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures Act, into law. The new law bans reassignment surgeries in the state of Mississippi under the age of 18. This is regardless of parental consent for the procedure.
“At the end of the day, there are two positions here. 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. I know which side I’m on. No child in Mississippi will have these drugs or surgeries pushed upon them,” said Governor Reeves.
RELATED: Mississippi Legislature sends bill preventing gender reassignment for minors to Governor
The legislation bans any person from knowingly providing gender transition procedures to a person under 18.
It also prevents public funds or tax deductions for prohibited gender transition procedures, places enforcement procedures on the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure and stops Medicaid from covering gender transition for persons under 18.
Reeves pinpoints a national movement by what he calls the “woke left” as the catalyst behind these types of ideas. He added that these types of activists are now using children as “guinea pigs” to advance their ideology.
“This dangerous movement attempts to convince these children that they are only a surgery away from happiness,” said Reeves.
The Governor said the legislation will put a stop to the continuation of this movement in the medical field by prohibiting the procedures.
Reeves asserted that the true impact of these procedures were not being reported accurately by the medical community.
“We’re told, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be fine and the potential side effects are at worst, minimal,'” said Reeves. “If you stand up against it you are labeled as intolerant, or transphobic, and censored.”
Reeves said that the FDA has not approved puberty blockers for stopping normally timed children and youth experiencing gender dysphoria. Additionally, he said the non-FDA approved drugs that can be used are presenting side effects like low bone density, altered adult height and impaired special memory. He said they can also lead to a loss of basic reproductive function and ultimately infertility.
“They very foundation their arguments depend on are simply not true,” said Reeves.
In attendance for the signing was Matt Walsh, columnist for The Daily Wire, podcast host, and star of the documentary, “What is a Woman?”
“The reality is that this is not a difficult issue. It is quite straightforward. If we lived in a sane society run by sane people, we would all be able to agree on this point; the question of whether it is ever okay to castrate and sterilize and mutilate a child would be answered with one loud and unified voice saying without hesitation, not only no, but hell no,” said Walsh.
Some opposed to the legislation say that these procedures are not happening in Mississippi, and to prevent doctors to treat in this way could continue to increase mental health issues among youth diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Reports conflict as to whether or not gender affirming treatments are currently being utilized for children in the state.
Walsh said there is no reliable data to back up that allowing a child to take hormones or participate in gender transitioning procedures will actually reduce their rate of suicide. He added that in the only long term study that has been done, it shows that suicide for trans people is the highest for years after affirmative care. He said medical expert claims that this care reduces the rate of suicide in trans-youth is unfounded because there is not enough data due to a lack of long term studies.
“I actually find it grotesque that the way to stop a child from hurting themselves is to affirm their belief that there is something wrong with body, that they were born in the wrong body,” said Walsh. “No, the way to help anyone who is in despair in that way, especially a child, is to help them toward actual self acceptance of who you really are.”
He said the message they are receiving from the medical community is contradictory to that self acceptance.
Governor Reeves said this is not only a preventative measure; he believes there are gender affirming treatments taking place in the state. Walsh echoed his remarks saying that it is unreliable to believe that many of these medical institutions are reporting the data accurately because of their known position on the issue.
“If it happens to one child who is mutilated, castrated, drugged, it is too many,” said Walsh. He also cautioned as to where the trend in gender affirming treatment was going. He said passing laws now to stop this could allow for these practices to grow in the next several years.
Rob Hill, State Director for the Human Rights Campaign, said the assertion that these types of procedures are already taking place in Mississippi is false.
“Obviously there has been misinformation from any number of folks like lawmakers in the Senate, Senator Joey Fillingane, certainly with the governor who has continued to put out lies and misinformation about the kind of care that kids are receiving in the state,” said Hill.
He went on to add that, to his knowledge, the kind of care currently being done is approved by the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and others, and is not considered experimental.
With the bill going into law, Hill said the advocacy groups will continue to fight for LGBTQ+ rights. He said this year, Mississippi lawmakers put forward several pieces of legislation their groups considered discriminatory for the LGBTQ+ community, and HB 1125 was the only one to make it out so far.
“If we need to, we will do what we’ve done in other places and take it to the courts,” said Hill.
Hill said references to medical professionals were provided to lawmakers prior to the passage of the bill, the inform them on what elements of gender affirming care was currently taking place in the state. He said he does not believe they have taken that into consideration.
Others in opposition have challenged the common conservative viewpoint of parental rights. This bill would not allow for a child to receive the care even with parental consent.
Governor Reeves held firm to the position that children should not have access to these types of care. He said that the long term consequences of children receiving this care would be great regardless of parental consent.
“I believe in parental rights, but you don’t have the right to directly harm a child. Child abuse is against the law in every state as well it should be. In some cases I think parents are being duped by the medical establishment and in a sense become victims as well, but whatever it is that motivates it if you’re sending your kid in to be castrated and sterilized, you are harming your child,” said Walsh.
He added that these procedures would ultimately be the burden of the child to carry, not the parent.
To watch the full press conference with Governor Reeves, click here.