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Rep. Finke’s Trans Refuge Legislation approved by House Judiciary and Civil Law Committee

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

St. Paul, MN - Today, the House Judiciary and Civil Law Committee held a hearing on House File 146, authored by Rep. Leigh Finke (DFL - St. Paul), which would prevent out-of-state laws from interfering in the practice of gender-affirming health care in Minnesota. The committee had previously held a hearing to take testimony from the public on the bill. Today, the committee took action on the legislation, referring it to the general register on a party-line vote of 8-5

“Since our first hearing on this legislation a few weeks ago, more states have banned gender-affirming care, including Utah, Florida, and South Dakota,” said Rep. Finke. “Gender-affirming care is health care, and in Minnesota we provide health care to those who need it. When a state line is all that’s keeping a family from receiving the health care their child needs, Minnesota should welcome them.”

Most major medical organizations – including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics – recognize gender-affirming care as safe and medically necessary for trans youth and adults. Further, research indicates that withholding or delaying gender-affirming care can have dramatic impacts on the mental health of individuals who need it. Trans and gender-expansive people who lack access to this care face higher rates of depression, suicide, and substance abuse, while those who receive care have dramatically improved health outcomes.

“Gender-affirming care, at its heart, is really about the process of supporting transgender and gender-expansive children to whatever outcome they end up pursuing,” said Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, Pediatrician and Medical Director of the Gender Health program at Children’s Minnesota. “It’s about working with kids and families to make sure they are loved and supported, that they have the resources they need at school, in their communities, and that they can get their questions answered about the gender exploration they’re going through. This is care that has been well-studied, and has been around for decades.”

House File 146 would turn Minnesota into a trans refuge state by protecting trans people, their families, and medical practitioners from legal repercussions for traveling to Minnesota to receive gender-affirming care. Trans people of all ages depend on gender-affirming care, which encompasses a wide range of social and medical interventions to affirm someone’s internal gender identity

More information on today’s hearing can be found on the House Judiciary and Civil Law Committee’s webpage. Video of today’s hearing will be available on the House Public information YouTube Channel


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