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Three states face resistance as they attempt to limit transgender health care access

On Wednesday, Republican attempts to ban gender-transitioning therapy ran into obstacles in three states. Justice Department sued Tennessee over its new ban, and a judge in Missouri temporarily blocked enforcement of an emergency rule that would have restricted treatment for transgender children and adults. In Kansas, lawmakers failed to override the veto of the Democratic governor on a bill that would have banned the care for minors.

This year, transgender rights have been a focal point in legislatures around the nation, with Republican-controlled states passing restrictive new legislation. The use of puberty inhibitors, cross-sex hormones, and transition surgery on minors is prohibited or subject to strict age restrictions in at least 11 states as of late.

Idaho, Indiana, and North Dakota have all signed new restrictions into law during the last two weeks, and additional states are certain to follow suit.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Senate upheld a veto from Gov. Laura Kelly, who had previously vetoed a measure that would have enabled persons who received gender-transitioning therapy as youngsters to sue their physicians and lost their medical licences. A court in Missouri has delayed the implementation of new regulations, which were scheduled to go into effect on Thursday, until at least Monday night.

And in Tennessee, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit claiming that Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s restriction on gender-transitioning treatment for kids violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

Republicans have pushed through further limitations on transgender rights, including bans on using public restrooms and participating in organised sports, under the guise of protecting youngsters from making irreversible medical choices.

The American Academy of Paediatrics, along with other major medical organisations, has spoken out in favour of transgender patients and treatment, arguing that limitations on such care violate the rights of both transgender patients and their physicians and parents.

Kansas’ Republican-controlled legislature failed to override Governor Kelly’s veto of a bill prohibiting state funding for gender-affirming medical care, but it did vote to override her veto of a bill that would mandate jails provide separate facilities for inmates based on their assigned sex at birth.

Attorney General Andrew Bailey of Missouri tried to limit access to transition therapies by using the state’s consumer protection statute, even though most changes at the federal level had been made via legislation. Mr. Bailey’s emergency order was to go into force this coming Thursday and be in place until February 6 of the following year, 2024. Mr. Bailey’s proposed limitations on gender-transitioning procedures would have extended to both adults and kids, unlike several previous initiatives this year.

Mr. Bailey, who was appointed to his post in January and is running for reelection, announced the rule this month, citing a lack of medical literature on the long-term consequences and hazards of transition care as the reason for the need for strict regulations in this area.

While the regulation did not explicitly prohibit transition care, it did place restrictions on it, such as requiring 18 months of counselling with a psychologist or psychiatrist before a new patient may get puberty-blocking medicines or surgery.

A state court heard arguments on the rule on Wednesday afternoon and then postponed its implementation until Monday night. St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Ellen H. Ribaudo said she needed more time to study briefs and hoped to issue a ruling by Monday on a temporary restraining order requested by L.G.B.T.Q. advocacy organisations.

Jonathan James
Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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