California Local News

California is considering making Gender-affirming Healthcare a licensing priority

California is considering making Gender-affirming Healthcare a licensing priority

Sacramento, CA: The state of California is considering a proposal to prioritize the licensing process for medical professionals who express a desire to provide gender-affirming services.

The California Medical Board, the California Osteopathic Medical Board, the California Board of Registered Nursing, and the California Board of Physician Assistants all offer accelerated licensure to those seeking medical licenses as abortion practitioners under current law.

Legislation proposed by Democratic Los Angeles Assembly Member Rick Zbur (AB 2442) would grant the same accelerated licencing to “an applicant who demonstrates that they intend to provide gender-affirming health care and gender-affirming mental health care” if it were to pass.

An employer’s letter outlining the expected start date and scope of practice, as well as an applicant’s intention to provide gender-affirming care (which may encompass both medical and mental health services), is required in order to obtain the accelerated licensing.

The availability of health treatment that affirms a person’s gender was severely restricted or eliminated in 185 state legislatures in 2023. According to a statement by Zbur, “roughly 156,500 transgender youth live in 32 states where access to gender-affirming care has been restricted,” highlighting how transgender youth have been disproportionately affected by the widespread anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

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A strong network of clinicians in the state can address the needs of patients from out of state, according to AB 2442, which prioritizes licensure applications for providers of gender-affirming services.

Transgender surgery carries the potential for harm to some individuals. Patients who had vaginoplasties (male-to-female surgeries) had a suicide risk that more than doubled, going from 1.5% to 3.3% post-surgery, compared to patients who had phalloplasties (female-to-male surgeries), where the risk remained at 0.8% (the same as the general population), according to a study out of California.

Health care providers in California who treat patients from other states who seek abortion, contraception, or gender-affirming services are now protected by law, thanks to Senate Bill 345, which Governor Newsom signed into law last year.

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There are 36 million women who are of childbearing age who reside in states where abortion is illegal. The disturbing trend of states outlawing gender-affirming healthcare is another concern, according to State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

It is now illegal to go across state lines to get an abortion in Alabama and Idaho, two states that have passed legislation prohibiting such travel.

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