Bill that bans gender reassignment surgery for anyone 18 and under passes in House

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:34 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A bill passed by state representatives on Thursday is causing quite a stir.

Under House Bill 1125, doctors are not able to perform gender-affirming surgery on anyone under the age of 18.

Lawmakers went back and forth on this issue for more than an hour before casting their votes.

After all the votes were counted, the bill passed with 78 people voting in favor of it and 28 people voting against it.

“What this is attempting to do is anyone under the age of 18 who is transgendered and wants to go through a procedure, or through the therapy, they have to be 18 before they can do that,” said Representative Nick Bain, who represents District 2.

The bill is also referred to as the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act. Not only does it prevent doctors from performing the procedures, but it also stops them from prescribing hormone medications to anyone under the age of 18.”

A medical doctor’s license can be revoked if they perform these procedures,” said Bain. “Public funds cannot be used to aid in these procedures.”

Bain presented the bill to members of the House.

However, Bain and this bill received pushback.

Legislators against the legislation argue that this isn’t an issue because these types of surgeries have not been performed in the state to anyone under the age of 18.”Wouldn’t we be much better off dealing with bills that would help our closing hospitals across the state,” District 65 State Representative Chris Bell asked. ”We’re not giving Medicaid the ability to pay for these types of surgeries,” said Bain. “That makes more money, more Medicaid dollars available for those hospitals.”

”Are there enough of these procedures that are endangering the lives of children that are under the age of 18,” Bell asked Bain. “No,” said Bain. “There’s a growing cohort if you will, of kids who are de-transitioning, so for me it’s about those children and making sure we take a wait-and-see approach.”

Not long after the bill was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi (ACLU-MS) expressed its disagreement with the passage.

“Gender-affirming care will look different for every transgender person, making it all the more critical for these decisions to be between patients, their families, and their doctors—not politicians forcing policy onto these vulnerable young people,” the ACLU-MS said in a statement.

With the bill passing in the House, it will now go over to the Senate where lawmakers in that chamber will vote on the legislation.

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