Maryland signs law to protect trans healthcare: ‘No one should have to justify their own humanness’

Maryland governor Wes Moore wearing a red tie and dark blue suit on a dark blue background

Maryland has bucked the worrying trend of rising anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the United States by signing abortion and trans healthcare protections into law.

The state’s Democratic governor, Wes Moore, enacted several bills on Wednesday (3 May) which will protect gender-affirming healthcare and abortion rights, NPR reported.

The ground-breaking laws include legislation that allows transgender people in the state to use Medicaid (state-funded health insurance) to cover gender-affirming care, at a time when several other states, including Florida and Alabama, have gone out of their way to limit access such care for trans youth. 

Moore signed six bills in total, with one creating a referendum aimed at enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution for the 2024 election, and another requiring confidentiality of patients seeking an abortion in the Free State.

The legislation provides vital protection for those travelling from less-liberal states to seek an abortion.

The repealing of the landmark case of Roe vs Wade last year means several states have restricted abortion access, with some even attempting to stop their citizens travelling elsewhere for the procedure.

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Moore explained at the signing: “We are living at a time when the Supreme Court is actively working to take Americans’ rights away instead of expanding them. We are living at a time when more than half the states in our country are moving toward banning or severely restricting abortion access.”

Speaking about the law protecting trans healthcare, he added: “In our state, no one should ever have to justify their own humanness… and that is what the Trans Health Equity Act is all about.”

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The mid-Atlantic state, also known as America in Miniature, is going against the current trend in the US, with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) tracking more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced across the country so far this year.

More than 125 of these bills seek to prevent trans youth from being able to access gender-affirming care, despite studies finding that access to the care improves mental health.

A study conducted in the Netherlands found that of those surveyed who started gender-affirming medical treatment in adolescence, 98 per cent continued to use gender-affirming hormones into adulthood.

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