As we celebrate the beginning of 2024, many states are kicking off the new year with new laws going into effect, many focused on gender and abortion rights.
There was a record-breaking number of anti-LGBTQ legislation introduced by Republican state legislators in 2023, with the American Civil Liberties Union recording at least 508 bills targeting LGBTQ healthcare access and inclusion in education. 84 of these were passed into law. Over 20 Republican-led states are now seeing these laws go into effect in the new year. As a result, the Human Rights Campaign reported that 35% of transgender youth live in states that have restricted gender affirming care.
However, in more positive news, Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, arguing that the decision to seek gender-affirming care should be made by the families, not the government. Several other states have also passed LGBTQ protections in 2023, including Minnesota, Michigan, New York, and California.
In terms of abortion, California law now protects doctors when mailing abortion medication to patients in states that have banned the procedure. Healthcare providers will also be protected when mailing pills for contraception or gender affirming care and will be allowed to file lawsuits against anyone that interferes with their right to provide legal care. Other states, such as Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and Vermont, are working to pass similar laws.