Advocacy Update

June 4, 2021: State Advocacy Update


It has been a priority of the AMA this year to defeat legislation that would prohibit physicians from providing medically necessary gender transition-related care to minors.

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These bills—introduced in nearly half of the states—target surgical interventions as well as medications and hormone therapies that delay puberty while a child explores their gender identity. The AMA views such legislation as a dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine and has been working closely with state medical associations to vigorously oppose them. In a letter (PDF) to the National Governors Association, the AMA has emphasized that it is “imperative that transgender minors be given the opportunity to explore their gender identity under the safe and supportive care of a physician.”

As many state legislative sessions come to a close, most bills have been defeated. Notably, in recent weeks, bills were defeated in both Alabama and Texas. However, bills were enacted in Arkansas and Tennessee. Arkansas’ law prohibits a physician or other health care professional from providing gender transition procedures to any individual under 18 years of age. Tennessee’s law prohibits interventions on prepubescent minors. Guidelines from professional medical associations recommend medication or hormonal therapy at the onset of puberty. Surgical interventions are generally reserved for adults.

Learn more about this and other AMA LGBTQ advocacy activities.

Three updated issue briefs from the AMA highlight the nation’s worsening drug overdose epidemic, research and efforts to help increase access to evidence-based care. These reports from the states and emerging data continue to show that the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic made the nation’s drug overdose epidemic worse.

The issue briefs include state-level reports of the worsening epidemic (PDF), select research (PDF) and examples of state-level reports (PDF) to help increase access to evidence-based care and save lives from overdose.