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Biden Takes Aim at DeSantis With Transgender Executive Order
Joe Biden launched his own plan to protect the health care of transgender youth after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis moved to end gender-affirming care for minors in Florida.On Wednesday, Biden will sign an executive order calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to clarify that federally funded programs are banned from offering conversion therapy and to take "steps to address the barriers and exclusionary policies" by expanding access to different types of health care and treatment.Conversion therapy, a practice seeking to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, is already banned in at least 20 states and Washington, D.C., according to the think tank Movement Advancement Project.Biden's move comes less than two weeks after DeSantis' administration asked the state board regulating doctors to ban Medicaid coverage for minors seeking transition-related care, which includes puberty blockers, hormone therapies or gender-reassignment surgery.DeSantis is among a string of Republican state officials who have restricted access to health care for transgender youth in recent months.Texas Governor Greg Abbott also stirred controversy in February for ordering the state department of family and protective services to investigate parents who provide their children with gender-affirming care. Across the U.S., over 300 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced in state legislatures this year, according to the White House.Back in March, the Justice Department had warned states that blocking access to gender-affirming care could violate federal law."President Biden always stands up to bullies.