The Mississippi Senate has voted 33-15 in favor of a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors.
As one of more than two dozen states seeking to restrict transgender health care access, the “Regular Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act” has now passed both chambers and will head to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves. If signed into law, any Mississippi resident under the age of 18 will be prohibited from receiving hormone treatments or therapy.
Following the House’s 78-30 vote on Jan. 20, Speaker Philip Gunn called it “the most transformative” bill the legislature has entertained so far into the 2023 session.
“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. “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 a multitude of hospitals in danger of closing.
Under the REAP Act, any physician who knowingly provides gender transition procedures or therapy could be at risk of losing their medical licenses or being sued.