A bill that would ban gender-affirming care for minors has passed both chambers of the Mississippi legislature, sending the “Regular Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act” to the governor.
According to wording in House Bill 1125, the legislation would prohibit any Mississippi resident under the age of 18 from receiving hormone treatments or therapy. In turn, any physician who knowingly provided gender transition procedures or therapy would be at risk of losing their medical licenses or being sued.
Senator Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, says that the bill aims to prevent minors in Mississippi from receiving any procedures or prescriptions that would change their biological gender.
“We would not allow in the state of Mississippi surgical procedures that would be used to change a male to a female or a female to a male. So, no gender transitioning,” Fillingane explained. “We would also not allow any puberty-blocking drugs that would be prescribed if the purpose was to transition from one sex to another. Similarly, no cross-hormone therapies could be given or prescribed for the purposes of gender transition.”
Fillingane added that the legislation would not prevent minors from receiving needed care and prescriptions, as long as the reasoning did not involve changing genders.
“Of course, there are legitimate medical uses for these types of drugs that are not related to gender transitioning,” Fillingane said. “If you have a young child that is experiencing puberty way too early and you need to block those hormones for a time to give that child time to grow into the period to when they would need to experience puberty, then you can certainly still prescribe a puberty-blocking drug so long as it’s not to transition that child.”
Fillingane explained he and other lawmakers believe that the majority of the state’s residents agree will the passing of the bill.
“We don’t believe that the majority of the Senate, and I think of the state at large, doesn’t believe that you should take a 15 or 16-year-old and give them puberty-blocking drugs for the purpose of beginning to transition from a female to a male or a male to a female,” Fillingane stated. “This legislation is being put in place to say that’s not okay in Mississippi if you’re under 18. Once you turn 18, do what you will.”