Biden launches plan to protect transgender youths’ health care
The order comes on the heels of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ decision to end gender-affirming care for minors. The Republican governor also banned Medicaid from covering treatments such as hormone replacement therapies and gender reassignment surgery.
Republican government leader Greg Abbott in February ordered the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to study parents who provide gender-affirming care for their children, comparing it to “child abuse.”
A government official said Biden will sign the warrant surrounded by LGBTQI+ children from Texas and Florida who have been “personally touched” by those policies. One of the kids, who staged a student break in Florida about the “Don’t Say Gay” law, will introduce the president.
Speaking to reporters, a government official said: “It’s going to steer” [a] message. It will direct the full force of the federal government to provide resources and support to families so that while they are under attack from states, they know we are on their side, and we provide resources to help them.
Overall, Biden officials said more than 300 bills have been introduced this year targeting LGBTQI+ rights in state legislatures, many seeking to restrict health care or promote conversion therapy, a practice condemned by major medical organizations, including the largest physicians’ organization, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
The bills “bully children” and “do not line up with where the American people are,” the government official told reporters.
Children whose gender or sexual identity is rejected by their family are 8.4 times more likely to commit suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report major depression than their peers collected data by the Department of Health’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Texas policy is currently stalled in court. One of the families who filed a lawsuit said their son attempted suicide the day Abbott issued his warrant.
Hundreds of Florida health professionals have warned the DeSantis administration that childcare policies “misrepresent the weight of the evidence, do not allow for personalized care for the patient and family, and, if followed, would lead to higher rates of childhood depression and suicidality.”
Biden health officials have expressed support for transgender health care and ending disproven conversion therapy, but federal agencies have not yet enacted rules that would codify protections for treatment. HHS in November rolled back a Trump-era policy that allowed caregivers to refuse care based on their religious beliefs, and last May expanded the anti-discrimination definition in the Affordable Care Act to include gender identity.
The executive order is likely to spark another round of legal challenges and battles with governors and anti-transgender lawyers pushing the boundaries of transgender rights.
“We’re prepared for whatever Biden throws our way,” DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said at a news conference this month when he criticized a federal policy that would require schools receiving food and nutrition assistance to use gender-based anti-discrimination language. identity. “That’s what we’re fighting for, don’t worry.”
the Ministry of Justice in March warned states that blocking access to gender-affirming care could violate federal law and has issued declarations of interest in court battles over transgender health care limits in Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas.
Senior officials said the order would not necessarily increase costs to the health agency because of existing programs and guidelines, but did point to fiscal year 2023 budget requests that would increase funding for mental health services.