Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Banning Gender-Transition Procedures for Minors

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Mississippi governor Tate Reeves on Tuesday signed into law a bill banning gender-transition procedures for minors.

Reeves’s final approval for the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act comes after the Republican-controlled state legislature approved the bill on February 21. The measure makes Mississippi the seventh state to ban sex-reassignment procedures for minors.

“There is a dangerous movement spreading across America today,” Reeves said while signing the bill. “It’s advancing under the guise of a false ideology and pseudoscience being pushed onto our children through radical activists, social media, and online influencers. And it’s trying to convince our children that they are in the wrong body. I stand before you today to sign legislation that puts a stop to this in Mississippi and protects our kids.”

The law bans medical professionals from performing gender-transition surgery and from prescribing puberty blockers or hormone replacements to minors in the state. The measure grants the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure the authority to strip medical professions of their licenses for violating the law.

The legislation also withholds public funding from any institution or individuals who provide gender-transition care to minors and allows minors who receive such care to sue providers for 30 years after they receive care.

The law takes effect immediately.

“At the end of the day, there are two positions here,” Reeves said Tuesday. “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,” he added. “No child in Mississippi will have these drugs or surgeries pushed upon them.” 

Other states that have banned or restricted surgical gender-transition procedures include Utah, South Dakota, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona and Florida. 

The law comes after Mississippi passed a law in 2021 banning biologically male athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

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