Maine House votes to ensure teens can receive gender-affirming health care

Maine House votes to ensure teens can receive gender-affirming health care

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine House voted Monday in favor of a bill to ensure 16- and 17-year-olds can receive gender-affirming hormone therapy without parental consent if certain conditions are met.

The bill, approved 73-60, allows those teens to undergo treatment without parental consent if they are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, are experiencing harm and have received counseling. It now goes to the Senate for further debate.

Both chambers have already voted to enshrine in law a requirement for the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming care.

Maine’s actions come as a growing number of states seek to ban gender-affirming care.

At least 20 states have now enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, and most of those states face lawsuits.

A federal judge struck down Arkansas’ ban as unconstitutional last week, and federal judges have temporarily blocked bans in Alabama and Indiana. Oklahoma has agreed to not enforce its ban while opponents seek a temporary court order blocking it. A federal judge has blocked Florida from enforcing its ban on three children who have challenged the law.

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