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ADDED ON: 04/04/2021

Dr. Rachel Levine defends trans youth who are losing healthcare in GOP-led states

4/3/21 | LGBTQ Nation

Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed to a federal position by the United States Senate, is speaking out on the effort by state lawmakers to take away healthcare and the ability to participate in sports for trans youth. In her first interview since being confirmed as the Assistant Secretary of Health last week, she calls the efforts “challenging to see.” Last week, Arkansas’ legislature has banned gender-affirming healthcare from even being offered to people under the age of 18, and pending Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s signature, would become the first state to do so. In terms of bans on trans youth participating in sports, various bans have passed Republican-majority legislatures in Arkansas, South Dakota, Mississippi and Tennessee this year alone. All except South Dakota had their bills signed into law last month by their state’s Republican governors. Instead, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed executive orders to the same effect, as she was dissatisfied with the legislature-approved ban. Citing her experience as a pediatrician and leading the health department of Pennsylvania, Levine expressed her opposition to these efforts. “I really think that the decisions about health care for LGBTQ youth are really between the family, the child, the young person, their doctor, maybe their therapist,” Levine said on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

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