MPR News with Angela Davis

‘It’s simply life-saving,’ says Minnesotan who uses gender-affirming care

Bella Mendez, 8, stands with her mother during a rally.
Bella Mendez, 8, stands with her mother during a Trans Day of Visibility rally at the Minnesota State Capitol building on March 31.
Nicole Neri for MPR News

The Minnesota legislature has passed a bill that protects people who come to the state for gender-affirming care. Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign that bill into law later this week. 

Minnesota joins Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and New Mexico, which have passed similar bills this year. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s neighbors — Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota — have banned gender-affirming care for minors, claiming that this kind of care causes irreparable harm. 

Listen to the conversation where MPR News host Angela Davis speaks with MPR News senior politics reporter Dana Ferguson about the trans refuge bill, its differences with the already signed executive order and what the next steps are.

“The executive order that the governor signed directs state agencies not to comply with investigations or extraditions from other states. And it says that the governor has the discretion to decide if he wants to comply with arrests, extraditions or subpoenas dealing with gender-affirming care,” Ferguson said.

“But this bill goes further because it extends that guidance to Minnesota courts, law enforcement officers and governors and says that they cannot arrest a person or extradite or subpoena them in Minnesota, if the crime they face elsewhere arose from accessing gender-affirming health care here.”

three people in a radio studio
MPR News host Angela Davis speaks with DFL Rep. Leigh Finke and Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd about providing gender-affirming care to Minnesota children and teenagers.
Danelle Cloutier | MPR News

In the studio, Davis is joined by Rep. Leigh Finke, a DFL lawmaker in the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing St. Paul and author of the trans refuge bill. She talks about the bill, her own experience being a trans woman and the first transgender person in Minnesota’s Legislature and her work for her community.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, the Medical Director of the Gender Health Program at Children’s Minnesota and the system’s Chief Education Office also joins Davis in the studio. They talk about their first-hand experience being the pediatrician of hundreds of Minnesotan trans kids of all ages, safe medical practices like using puberty blockers and they address issues like common misconceptions on the matter.

We also hear from teenage transgender Minnesotans about why the gender-affirming bill matters to them and we pick up calls from parents all over the state whose children currently receive gender-affirming care.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.   

Volume Button
Now Listening To Livestream
MPR News logo
On Air
MPR News