As HB1125, also known as the Regulate Experimental Adolescent Procedures (REAP) Act, awaits approval in the Senate, supporters of trans youth held a rally at the Mississippi State Capitol earlier this week to say the bill is "dangerous" and discriminatory and prevents children from being their true selves.
Supporters of the legislation, however, maintain that so-called gender-affirming procedures should not be done on children.
Attorney Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) says Mississippi is moving in the right direction.
"Sterilization, puberty blockers, and hormones can have life-long consequences for kids," he points out. "[Mississippi is] one of many states following the science and listening to experts, speaking out about the harms of these procedures on kids, and looking to ways that they can meaningfully make sure that kids in Mississippi do not get subjected to these harmful, often sterilizing procedures."
Based off what he had to say on the issue in his recent State of the State Address, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Mississippi) appears to be in favor of HB 1125:
"America stands essentially alone in the truly outrageous position that we've staked out on this issue. While some in our country push surgical mutilation onto 11-year-olds even here in Mississippi, even liberal darlings like Finland, Denmark, and Sweden don't allow these surgeries to be performed on kids who are under 18.
The fact is that we set age restrictions on driving a car and on getting a tattoo. We don't let 11-year-olds enter an R-rated movie alone, yet some would have us believe that we should push permanent body-altering surgeries on them at such a young age.
Mississippi must do everything in our power to counter those who want to push their experiments on our kids."
The "No to HB1125" rally was hosted by a coalition led by the state's ACLU and Human Rights Campaign, as well as the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations.