Biden launches plan to protect the health of transgender youth

The order followed the Florida governor. Ron DeSantis has decided to end gender-affirming juvenile care. The Republican governor also banned Medicaid from covering treatments such as hormone replacement therapy and sex reassignment surgery.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in February ordered the Texas Department of Family and Welfare to investigate parents who provide gender-affirming care for their children, comparing it to “child abuse.”

An administration official said Biden would sign the executive order surrounded by LGBTQI+ children from Texas and Florida who were “personally affected” by the policy. The president will be represented by one of the kids who organized student strikes over the Florida Don’t Say Gay Bill.

During a telephone conversation with reporters, an administration official said: “He will send [a] message. He’s going to put all of the federal government’s resources into providing resources and support to families so that when they’re under attack from the states, they know we’re on their side and we’re providing the resources to help them.”

Overall, Biden officials said more than 300 bills were introduced in state legislatures this year targeting LGBTQI+ rights, many of which seek to restrict health care or promote conversion therapy, a practice denounced by major medical organizations, including the largest organization of physicians, the American Medical Association. and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

The bills “frighten children” and “are not in line with the way Americans live,” an administration official told reporters.

Children whose gender or sexual identity is rejected by the family are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide and 5.9 times more likely to report major depression than their peers. collected data Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, Department of Health.

Texas politics is currently stalled in court. One of the families that filed the lawsuit stated that their son attempted suicide on the day Abbott gave the order.

Hundreds of Florida health professionals have written to the DeSantis administration warning that youth care policies “skew the weight of the evidence, do not allow for individualized care for patients and families, and if followed would result in higher rates of illness.” juvenile depression and suicidal tendencies.

Biden’s health officials have expressed support for transgender healthcare and an end to the debunked conversion therapy, but federal agencies have yet to issue rules that would codify protections for the treatment. In November, HHS ended a Trump-era policy that allowed providers to deny care based on their religious beliefs, and last May expanded the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination definition to include gender identity.

The executive order is likely to lead to a new round of legal disputes and battles with governors and transgender advocates who push for restrictions on transgender rights.

“We’re ready for whatever Biden throws at us,” DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential nominee, said during a press conference this month when he criticized federal policies that require schools receiving food aid to include anti-discrimination wording around gender identity. “We’re fighting for it, don’t worry.”

Ministry of Justice in March warned states that blocking access to gender-affirming health care could violate federal law, and issued statements of interest in legal battles over restrictions on transgender health care in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Senior administration officials said the order would not necessarily increase the health agency’s spending due to existing programs and directives, but pointed to fiscal year 2023 budget requests that would increase funding for mental health care.