Bills to ban best-practice medical care for transgender people are growing in number, growing in scope, and growing more extreme, according to a report released today by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), entitled “Bans on Medical Care for Transgender People.” The report looks at the sweeping attempts to ban and restrict medical care for not only transgender youth – but also transgender adults. Just last week, Missouri became the first state to effectively ban medically necessary care for both youth and adults.
MAP analyzed the more than 250 bills introduced in recent years that attack access to medical care for transgender people. These bills come amid a broader climate of record-breaking anti-LGBTQ efforts: this year alone, state legislatures have introduced more than 650 bills attacking LGBTQ people, including more than 125 bills that would specifically ban or limit transgender people’s access to health care. Through this detailed analysis, the new MAP report illustrates the extent of how recent bills targeting medically necessary care for transgender people are expanding and becoming more extreme, including: Expanding from youth under 18 to include adults; increasing penalties for providing this medically necessary care, including felony or even child abuse charges for healthcare providers, parents, and even teachers; and, banning any insurance coverage for care, including through both state-funded programs like Medicaid and through private insurers.
Prior to 2021, no states banned medical care for transgender youth, but now 15 states have bans on at least some forms of medical care, and many more states are actively pursuing similar bans. “These bills are part of a much broader, coordinated effort to prevent transgender people from being our authentic selves,” said Logan Casey, Senior Policy Researcher at MAP and an author of the report. “Across the country, anti-transgender extremists and politicians are putting the lives and well-being of transgender people at risk by attempting to outlaw access to best practice medical care not only for youth, but for all transgender people.” The health care targeted by anti-transgender extremists is medically necessary care that is prescribed by experienced doctors who utilize best practices that are endorsed by all major medical groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. “It can be hard at first to understand what it’s like to have a transgender child, but everyone should understand that these decisions should be left to parents, healthcare providers, and the patient, in accordance with best practice medical standards,” said Ineke Mushovic, MAP’s executive director. “These bills allow the state to overrule parents and take best practice medical care off the table, limiting parents’ options for how to best support their child. And now they are even saying transgender adults shouldn’t be trusted to make the decisions about the care they want and need.” (image courtesy: Movement Advancement Project at lgbtmap.medium.com/)