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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Roundtable highlights push to protect trans rights in ID

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Wednesday, January 17, 2024   

The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence is taking part in a meeting with a U.S. health official this week to discuss ways to make the state safer against gender-based violence.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Assistant Secretary of Health, Admiral Rachel Levine, will be in Boise on Friday for a roundtable as the state legislative session gets underway.

Idaho lawmakers have restricted rights for transgender and gender-expansive people in recent sessions, including a bill passed last year banning gender-affirming care for young people. Levine called it a concerning development.

"Like all Americans, transgender people need to be able to access care from their health care providers for any health challenge or any condition," Levine explained. "As well as primary care and preventative care, but also gender-affirming care, and that's youth and adults."

Idaho is one of 22 states to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Levine is touring the country to assess the mental and behavioral health of members of LGBTQIA+ communities. She is the first openly transgender official confirmed to an executive branch position.

Levine emphasized restricting health care for transgender people is harmful and unscientific.

"There is certainly a compelling body of evidence established over a number of decades that transgender medicine is standard-of-care medicine," Levine pointed out. "Transgender medicine is physical health care, but it is also mental health care and in circumstances, it's literally suicide prevention care."

A host of attendees will be at the meeting, including representatives from the ACLU, City of Boise, health organizations and local churches.

Disclosure: The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Early Childhood Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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