Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an emergency regulation Monday asserting that current state law prohibits gender transition “interventions” for minors without meeting specific procedural requirements.
Missouri law prohibits “experimental healthcare procedures,” so the AG stated that current law does not allow gender transition care for minors without certain requirements because it is an experimental procedure. This comes just one month after the AG’s office undertook an investigation into a transgender care facility in St. Louis because of a whistleblower’s allegations that the facility harmed children. The whistleblower claimed that doctors continued to prescribe puberty blockers and other transitioning procedures when the patient did not want to continue the transition.
Specifically, the AG explained that, for a minor to undergo gender-transition care, a provider must follow informed-consent procedures. This includes letting patients know about the side effects of treatments such as puberty blockers. It also requires providers to tell patients about two studies which respectively claim that “an individual whose friend identifies as transgender is ‘more than 70 times’ as likely to similarly identify as transgender” and that “the large majority (about 85%) of prepubertal children with a childhood diagnosis did not remain GD/gender incongruent in adolescence.”
Current law also requires healthcare providers to ensure minors undergo additional steps, including an evaluation for autism and treatment for other mental health conditions, before they are eligible for gender-affirming care.
Missouri lawmakers are currently debating Senate Bill 49 which would ban healthcare professionals from providing gender-transition procedures for minors, excluding those born with sexual development disorders.
Other states, including Florida, are advancing bills that would criminalize sex reassignment care to minors as well.