Mississippi is on the verge of becoming the first state in the United States to ban transgender surgeries and drugs for children under 18. The proposed bill, which has already passed the state Senate, would make it illegal for doctors to perform gender-affirming surgeries or prescribe hormone blockers or hormone replacement therapy to minors who identify as transgender.
The bill, known as Senate Bill 2171, has been met with both support and opposition. Supporters argue that children are not mature enough to make such life-altering decisions and that these procedures can have long-term physical and psychological effects. Opponents argue that denying medical treatment to transgender youth can lead to increased rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
The ban would apply to all gender-affirming medical treatments, including puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and gender reassignment surgery. Doctors who violate the law could face fines up to $5,000 or lose their medical license.
Proponents of the bill argue that it is necessary to protect children from making irreversible decisions before they are old enough to fully understand the consequences. They also claim that allowing these procedures could lead to a surge in detransitioning - when individuals who have undergone gender-affirming procedures later regret their decision.
Opponents of the bill argue that it is discriminatory and denies transgender youth access to necessary medical care. They point out that studies have shown that gender-affirming treatments can significantly improve mental health outcomes for transgender individuals.