Many States Are Trying to Restrict Gender Treatments for Adults

But some legislators are introducing broader bills that would prohibit gender-related care at government-owned or operated health centers, or at those that accept state funding.

In Oklahoma, for example, a bill introduced this year by State Senator Nathan Dahm would withhold Medicaid reimbursement — for any procedure or treatment — from any health center that offers gender care or works with a provider who offers it.

In an interview in January, Mr. Dahm said that his only goal was to stop taxpayer money from covering transition procedures. “If an adult wants to make that decision and pay for it themselves, then they can do so,” he said. He also acknowledged, however, that the policy could spur some health care providers to stop offering care to adults.

Over the past few decades, doctors have increasingly removed barriers, such as psychological evaluations, for adults to get hormone treatments, shifting decision-making to patients themselves.

“There’s very, very broad consensus that gender-affirming care for adults is appropriate and helpful,” said Erica Anderson, a clinical psychologist and former president of the U.S. Professional Association for Transgender Health.

Dr. Anderson, a transgender woman, has publicly voiced concerns about the rising number of adolescents, especially those with complex psychiatric issues, seeking gender-related care. She has also supported the policies of certain European countries, including Sweden and Britain, that have recently limited when children can undergo certain medical treatments.

But last month, Dr. Anderson joined hundreds of clinicians in signing a letter that emphasized gender-affirming care is beneficial and important for many transgender children and denounced the legislative bans in the United States. The efforts to extend such restrictions to adults will add significant harm, she said.

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