Mississippi HB1125 is a harmful bill that would deny transgender youth access to life-saving health care. The bill, also known as the REAP Act, would prohibit any medical professional from providing gender-affirming care, such as hormone therapy or puberty blockers, to anyone under 18¹. The bill passed the Senate on February 21, 2023 and will go to Governor Tate Reeves for approval.
Gender-affirming care is essential for the well-being of transgender people. It allows them to align their physical attributes with their gender identity, which can reduce psychological distress, improve mental health, and lower suicide risk. According to a large-scale study in 2021, access to hormone therapy was associated with lower rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts among transgender adults.
On the other hand, denying gender-affirming care can have devastating consequences for transgender youth. They may face increased risk of chronic diseases, cancers, mental health problems, substance misuse, and violence⁶⁸. They may also avoid seeking medical care for fear of being rejected or discriminated against. Moreover, they may resort to unsafe or illegal sources of hormones or surgeries without proper supervision or follow-up.
Mississippi HB1125 is not only medically unsound but also morally unjust. It violates the human rights and dignity of transgender youth who deserve respect and support. It also undermines the professional judgment and autonomy of medical providers who are trained and qualified to provide appropriate care for their patients. It is a cruel and unnecessary bill that should be vetoed by Governor Reeves.