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This year, at least 12 states have passed legislation to limit or ban gender-affirming health care for young people, adding to several already on the books. In Missouri, restrictions announced last week by the state attorney general would apply to people of any age. With legislative sessions pressing on across the country, more restrictions could be on the way.
At the same time, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico and Minnesota have passed bills designed to shield transgender health care through legal protections, health care coverage and access. Friday, the Minnesota legislature passed protections for youth and parents who seek health care and for the providers that give it. Gov. Tim Walz, who championed the bill, says he will sign it.
"We are going to lead on this issue," said Walz, a second-term Democrat at an LGBTQ rights rally last week. "And I want to make note, not only do you belong here, you are needed here, you're part of the fabric that makes Minnesota the best place in the country to live."
Last year, California passed a similar bill, calling itself a "refuge" state for transgender youth and their families. Also this year, Oregon Democrats are proposing a constitutional amendment to protect care. Washington State and Vermont have their own protective bills.