Missouri Attorney General enacts emergency regulation banning majority of trans adults and children from gender-affirming care

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey enacted an emergency rule that virtually bans gender-affirming care for trans youth and adults. (Annelise Hanshaw/Missouri Independent)

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey put into effect an emergency regulation that bans gender-affirming care for transgender folks unless they can prove that they have experienced at least three years of body dysmorphia and have undergone at least 18 months of therapy–among other requirements. The regulation will go into effect April 27, 2023 and will expire February 6, 2024. 

Bailey says this emergency rule was written to protect children from transitional interventions that are experimental, but the people he’s “protecting” are taking to social media to say he’s taken a huge step in the absolute wrong direction.

Bailey posted about his emergency rule on twitter earlier today receiving comments from people telling him to “stay out of my healthcare” and that trans kids and trans adults deserve “to be free to live their lives without harassment.” 

Activist Erin Reed posted photos of the official rule, bringing to people’s attention that it will also ban gender affirming care for all people with autism. 

Some on Twitter also pointed to the fact that many of the facts and figures used as evidence for why Bailey created this regulation are inaccurate. The National Center for Transgender Equality called the statistics “deeply wrong.”

Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri have promised to take any necessary legal action against Bailey in response to his restriction on gender-affirming care. The Legal Help Desk at Lambda Legal or the ACLU of Missouri have contact information available and people affected by this regulation are welcome to contact them.

“The Attorney General’s so-called emergency rule is based on distorted, misleading, and debunked claims and ignores the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence supporting this care as well as the medical experts and doctors who work with transgender people every day,” says Lambda Legal and ACLU of Missouri in a joint statement. “This emergency regulation will have a drastically negative impact on transgender youth, compounding the prejudice, discrimination, violence, and other forms of stigma they continue to face in their daily lives.”

Sadly, the Attorney General’s emergency rule was not the only anti-trans legislation that was upheld in Missouri, today. In the House a four-year ban on gender-affirming care was passed. 

The proposal was accepted in the Senate last month with added provisions that allowed people currently receiving care to continue treatments and set an expiration date for the ban. However, the version passed in the House did not include these provisions.

House Democrats pleaded with fellow representatives not to put policies above children and families in Missouri. Rep. Barbara Phifer, D-St. Louis, said that she was worried her grandson who is transgender may have to move and won’t be able to visit her if the proposal is passed.

“This is as personal as it gets and if it’s not about you and your child, you should be listening to the people it is about and not deciding that you, government, know better than them and their doctors about their complex, personal journeys,” Rep. Peter Merideth, D-St. Louis, says. 

Republicans in the House criticized their arguments, claiming that the Democrats are using personal relationships to threaten them.

“We have to agree with them and if we don’t, they’re going to threaten us,” Sponsor of the bill Rep. Brad Hudson, R-Cape Fair, says. “They’re going to threaten us with lost friendships, they’re going to threaten us with the opinions of our children and our grandchildren.”

This bill will be sent back to the Senate for another vote, but there is hope that without the provisions it will not receive the votes it needs to pass.

Categories: Politics