PRESS RELEASE: Governor Walz Takes Executive Action to Protect Access to Gender Affirming Health Care in Minnesota
Governor Tim Walz today took executive action to protect access to gender affirming health care in Minnesota.
Gender affirming health care services refers to all medical, surgical, counseling, or referral services, including telehealth services, that an individual may receive to support and affirm that individual’s gender identity or gender expression. Executive Order 23-03 protects the rights of Minnesota’s LGBTQ community to seek and receive gender affirming health care in Minnesota.
“As states across the country move to ban access to gender-affirming care, we want LGBTQ Minnesotans to know they will continue to be safe, protected, and welcome in Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “In Minnesota, you will not be punished for seeking or providing medical care. This Executive Order delivers the urgent action that our LGBTQ Minnesotans deserve.”
“Gender affirming health care is safe, scientifically proven, and lifesaving. When our friends and neighbors tell us that this care will help them feel safer, happier, and more themselves, it is our job to listen and to believe them,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “Our number one job is to keep children safe. This Executive Order does just that. We are saying to our trans loved ones, friends, neighbors, and fellow Minnesotans: you belong here. You are safe here, and we want you in our community as your authentic selves.”
The Executive Order protects gender affirming health care in Minnesota by directing state agencies to take the following actions:
- State agencies will coordinate to protect people or entities who are providing, assisting, seeking, or obtaining gender affirming health care services.
- The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Minnesota Department of Commerce (COMM), and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) will investigate and take administrative actions for unfair or deceptive practices related to the denial of gender affirming health care services.
- MDH will prepare a report summarizing the literature on the scientific evidence about the safety and effectiveness of gender affirming health care and its public health effects.
- The state will decline to help other states that try to penalize individuals and entities seeking gender affirming health care services.
- To the maximum extent possible, the state will refuse requests to extradite individuals accused of committing acts related to, securing of, or receipt of gender affirming health care services.
- MDH, COMM, MDHR, and the Minnesota Department of Human Services will issue a joint bulletin to health plan companies regarding the availability of health insurance coverage and the provision of health insurance benefits for medically necessary gender affirming health care services.
Executive Order 23-03 is effective fifteen days after publication in the State Register and filing with the Secretary of State.