Republican attorneys general from 17 different states are working together in an attempt to block Medicaid from covering the transitional needs of non-binary and transgender youth.
The initial effort from the “gang of 17” attorneys general (as they’ve been referred to in some press coverage) began as a way to support the Arkansas health care ban for gender-expansive youth. From their letter: “The evidence also shows that nearly all children whose gender dysphoria is treated with puberty blockers to ‘buy time’ will proceed to take cross-sex hormones and seek other medical interventions with irreversible effects.”
Many LGBTQ activists have pointed out this portion of the statement – regardless of its intent — is not a dig at the gender-expansive community. Instead, it solidifies the idea that transgender children will grow to be transgender adults, therefore implying that the sooner treatment is made available, the smoother and less painful transitioning will be for an individual.
Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas signed the brief, making it clear they oppose Biden’s announcement that he and his cabinet stand with transgender youth.
Although North Carolina did not sign on in support of the letter, there are two major anti-transgender bills in the state this year. Senate Bill 514, the Youth Health Protection Act, (SB 514) and Senate Bill 515, the Health Care Heroes Conscience Protection Act, (SB 515) were filed in April 2021. SB 514 would make it so that transgender men and women under 21 would not be able to receive gender-affirming care regardless of parental consent. SB 515 was much more far-reaching within the LGBTQ community; allowing all medical professionals to refuse service to any individual in the queer community based on religious views.
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