Missouri Legislature introduces measures to restrict healthcare for trans youth
Two bills advocating against the right for transgender children and teenagers to receive healthcare went before the Missouri legislature this week.
House Bill 33 and Senate Bill 442 would prohibit medical professionals from giving hormonal or surgical treatment for gender reassignment to anyone under 18. The bills make gender reassignment for trans youth a criminal act punishable by revoking any participating doctor’s medical license or ability to practice medicine.
Alongside Missouri, numerous other states have either already passed or are considering passing bills that either force transgender youth and college athletes to prove their gender or prohibits them from participating in sports in their gender identity. On Wednesday, almost 550 collegiate athletes demanded these states lose their championship and event participation from the NCAA.
Missouri House Republicans also approved a measure on Wednesday to stop state judges from rewriting the language of proposed legislative changes. This measure followed an additional vote to change the requirements for constitutional changes from a simple majority to a two-thirds majority.
House Bill 850 puts limits on how the wording of ballot measures can be modified. Rep. John Wiemann, R-O’Fallon, sponsored the measure and argued it would keep judges from “legislating from the bench”.
It also leaves less room for partisan language to be corrected. This could prevent the GOP from having to alter language of goes against Missouri’s law for ballot measures to remain “true and impartial” and keep from being “intentionally argumentative”. State Democrats, such as Rep. Ashley Aune, argued this was dangerous.
“We’re trying to make democracy accessible for people,” Aune says. “And when we allow a supermajority to dictate the language that is on these ballot initiatives, we do a disservice.”