A bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors in Mississippi is one step closer to becoming law with the Senate set to vote on the matter as soon as Thursday.
As one of more than two dozen states seeking to restrict transgender health care access, the “Regular Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act” would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from receiving hormone treatments or therapy.
The legislation passed the House by a 78-30 vote on Jan. 20, after which Speaker Philip Gunn called it “the most transformative” bill the legislature has entertained so far in 2023.
“As far as things we have done thus far in the session, I would have to point to that as the most transformative, impactful piece of legislation that we have done in the first month,” Gunn said on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “And it was something so critically important, we took it up early in the session.”
Opposition to the bill has argued the exact opposite, asserting that a bill restricting health care access for transgender youth should be at the bottom of lawmakers’ agendas as the state faces an ongoing crisis that includes 38 hospitals in danger of closing.
“Wouldn’t we be much better off dealing with bills that would help our closing hospitals across the state?” Representative Chris Bell, D-Jackson, asked his peers prior to the House vote.