Legislatures in 20 states this year proposed banning physicians and other health care professionals from providing medically necessary gender-affirming care to transgender and gender-diverse youth. In response to this legislative trend, physicians and medical students at the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting voted to meaningfully expand the organization’s strong opposition to undue restrictions on medical care to populations that have been politicized in state legislatures.
“The AMA opposes the dangerous intrusion of government into the practice of medicine and the criminalization of health care decision-making,” said AMA Board Member Michael Suk, MD, JD, MPH, MBA. “Gender-affirming care is medically-necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people.”
Most recently in April 2021, the AMA delivered a letter to the National Governors Association urging its members to oppose legislative dictates that inappropriately limit the range of options physicians and families may consider when making decisions for gender-diverse pediatric patients. The letter cited evidence demonstrating that forgoing gender-affirming care can have tragic consequences for transgender individuals who face increased risk of anxiety, stress, substance use disorder and suicide. The majority of transgender and diverse-gender patients report improved mental health and lower rates of suicide after receipt of gender-affirming care.
The AMA is a strong supporter of human rights and freedoms and will continue to strongly oppose discrimination based on an individual’s sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. AMA will continue to work to ensure transgender and gender-diverse minors have the opportunity to explore their gender identity under the safe and supportive care of a physician.