Maryland gov. signs radical laws expanding abortion, Medicaid coverage for transgender surgeries – LifeSite

ANNAPOLIS (LifeSiteNews) — Maryland Democrat Gov. Wes Moore signed a slate of new laws Wednesday to make the Old Line State a haven for those trying to evade other states’ laws against abortion, as well as making it easier across the board to obtain abortions and gender “reassignment” procedures.

The Associated Press reports that the new laws ensure that women and abortionists cannot be subjected to criminal, civil, or administrative punishments for violating the abortion laws of other states, ban the sharing of data relating to abortion “care” by health information exchanges, electronic health networks, and other health care providers, require public colleges and universities to develop plans to give students easy access to contraception and abortion pills, and require the state Medicaid program to subsidize so-called “gender-affirming treatment.”

That final law, the so-called Trans Health Equity Act, defines “gender-affirming treatment” so broadly as to include hormone therapy, hormone blockers, and puberty blockers; face, hair, voice, anatomy, genital, and gonad alteration; voice therapy and voice lessons; laser removal for the scars surgical transitions typically leave behind; “standard fertility preservation procedures”; reversal of prior transition treatments; and combinations of the aforementioned treatments, as well as “other treatments as prescribed to suppress the development of endogenous secondary sex characteristics, align the individual’s appearance or physical body with gender identity, and alleviate symptoms of clinically significant distress resulting from gender dysphoria.”

“In this moment of serious consequences for women and for all Marylanders, Maryland can and will lead on this issue of abortion access,” Moore declared, pledging that Maryland would “always be a safe haven for abortion access and abortion rights.”

“In our state, no one should ever have to justify their humanity,” the governor added. “In our state, no one should have to justify their own humanness, and that’s what the Trans Health Equity Act is all about, and it’s the legislation that we need.”

The new laws follow Maryland lawmakers voting last month to place on the 2024 ballot a referendum to add language to the Maryland Constitution declaring a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including but not limited to the ability to make and effectuate decisions to prevent, continue, or end one’s own pregnancy,” which government cannot, “directly or indirectly, deny, burden, or abridge” without a “compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.” If successful, it would effectively insulate abortion “access” from legislative action.

Fourteen states currently ban all or most abortions, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court voting last summer to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion to the democratic process.

To preserve abortion “access” in this new landscape, the abortion lobby and its allies are pursuing multiple strategies, including easing distribution of abortion pills, legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel, attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions, attempting to construct new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states, and making liberal states sanctuaries for those who want to evade or violate the laws of more pro-life neighbors.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.

As for “trans health equity,” evidence indicates that “affirming” a child’s confusion about his or her biological sex carries severe harms, especially when such affirmation takes the form of physically transformative medical procedures. 

Studies find that more than 80% of children experiencing gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that even full “reassignment” surgery often fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide — and may even exacerbate it by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

The issue is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself after trying to live as a man for three years.

Many oft-ignored “detransitioners,” individuals who attempted to live under a different “gender identity” before embracing their true sex, attest to the physical and mental harm of reinforcing gender confusion, as well as to the bias and negligence of the medical establishment on the subject.

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