Oct 16, 2023 - News

Philadelphia to become safe haven for gender-affirming care

Illustration of a stethoscope with the transgender icon as the chest piece.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Mayor Jim Kenney will sign an executive order Tuesday protecting access to gender-affirming health care in Philadelphia.

Why it matters: Major medical associations consider such care necessary and potentially lifesaving.

The big picture: Philly joins a growing list of cities, including Pittsburgh and New York City, that have put in place such protections as GOP-led states across the country have enacted bans or limits on gender-affirming care for transgender individuals.

Driving the news: Kenney will announce the executive order in a press conference at 2pm Tuesday.

The order, which Axios received portions of, would:

  • Prohibit the use of city resources to aid in an investigation that seeks to penalize anyone looking for gender-affirming care in Philadelphia.
  • Make medically necessary gender-affirming health care available to those in city custody and jails.

Plus: If federal or state sanctions on those health care services are put in place, the order would deprioritize enforcement of any crimes related to providing or receiving gender-affirming health care services to the fullest extent possible.

By the numbers: 22 states have imposed bans on gender-affirming care, per data from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

  • Meanwhile, lawmakers have put forward more than 13o pieces of legislation in state legislatures seeking to ban certain gender-affirming medical care, per data from the ACLU.

What they're saying: "It's incredibly important that the city is taking a stand and making it clear that we're not using taxpayer dollars or city resources to harm transgender people who are just seeking care," Sultan Shakir, president of the Mazzoni Center, tells Axios.

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