The Quickie: State Lawmakers Introduce a Tsunami of Anti-Trans Bills
For Immediate Release: Jan. 31, 2023
Welcome to “The Quickie” — Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s daily tipsheet on the top health care & reproductive rights stories of the day. You can read “The Quickie'' online here.
In today’s Quickie: state lawmakers introduce over 150 anti-trans bills this year, Biden admin takes steps to expand birth control access through the ACA, and PP president talks the state of abortion with Zerlina.
STATE LAWMAKERS INTRODUCE A TSUNAMI OF ANTI-TRANS BILLS: In just 31 days, state lawmakers have introduced over 150 anti-trans bills in at least 25 states, according to the New York Times. Even as attacks against trans people have increased in the past few years, the tsunami of anti-trans bills in 2023 is unprecedented. The consequences for trans and non-binary people are devastating: Beyond attempting to roll back their rights, legislative attacks have increased harassment and threats while suicide rates are already extremely high.
This weekend, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed S.B. 16 into law, immediately blocking minors from receiving gender affirming care, banning gender-affirming surgery, and eliminating almost all hormone therapy for trans and non-binary youth.
“The Utah Legislature is working overtime to attack transgender people, placing unnecessary and dangerous restrictions on health care services for trans youth and blocking parents trying to do their best for their children,” said Karrie Galloway, CEO and executive director of Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. “Planned Parenthood understands that LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive rights are inextricably intertwined — both are rooted in our fundamental right to control our own bodies and decide what our families look like.”
This makes Utah the first state to enact such a measure this year, but they will certainly not be the last. Just yesterday in West Virginia, lawmakers advanced a bill prohibiting gender-affirming surgery for minors and amended it to also include a ban on hormone therapy. That bill now goes to the full House of Delegates; if enacted, experts warn that the law would have profoundly negative impacts on youth mental health, increasing the already high risk of suicide in trans youth.
“Decisions about what interventions may be appropriate at different ages is a complex question that should be left to the individual, their family members, and their health care providers,” Director of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic Alisa Clements said in a statement to AP. “This bill interferes with private health decisions, insults health care providers, and plays politics with people’s lives.
Read more at the New York Times.
BIDEN ADMIN TAKES STEPS TO EXPAND BIRTH CONTROL ACCESS: Yesterday, the Biden administration proposed new regulations expanding access to birth control coverage without cost-sharing through employer-sponsored and university student health insurance plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If finalized, these rules would reverse a policy issued during the previous administration, which allows many employers to deny birth control coverage by citing moral objections.
“Access to birth control is critical to reproductive freedom,” Alexis McGill Johnson, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. “It gives people the reins to decide their own futures. Employers and universities should not be able to dictate personal health care decisions and impose their views on their employees or students. The ACA mandates that health insurance plans cover all forms of birth control without out-of-pocket costs. Now, more than ever, we must protect this fundamental freedom.”
Read more at CNN. Read PPFA’s full release here.
PP PRESIDENT TALKS STATE OF ABORTION ACCESS: Yesterday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson joined SiriusXM’s Mornings with Zerlina to talk about the current and future state of abortion access following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. She spoke about the increasing threats against sexual and reproductive health care, covering the growing possibility of criminalization of abortion in states, risk of losing access to mifepristone, and attacks on birth control and gender affirming care in states. Alexis noted:
“We are showing up in all of these legislative sessions where we are seeing them introduce everything from abortion bans and restrictions, not just on abortion, but gender affirming care, birth control. Already this year — and it's what? — it is only January 30th and we have seen 130 anti-abortion bills introduced in 28 states. They continue to be incredibly extreme. Montana politicians are trying to make it harder for Medicaid patients to access care. Kansas lawmakers — even after the ballot initiative — wants to see a total abortion ban. On the political side, what has been clear is that so many of these lawmakers did not heed the lesson from the midterms.”
Listen to the full interview here.