Missouri attorney general Andrew Bailey ends rule banning trans healthcare for kids and adults

Man holds sign reading "protecting trans youth"

Missouri attorney general Andrew Bailey has issued an order ending a rule that would have limited gender-affirming care for both children and adults. 

The legislation, introduced in April, was one of the most severe anti-trans rules introduced in the United States, and would have seen gender-affirming care banned for all ages unless strict conditions were met. A requirement of three years of medically documented gender dysphoria and mandated therapy would have been needed for adults to access care.

Gender-affirming care would also have been limited for autistic people, and those suffering depression or anxiety.

Bailey, a Republican, issued the emergency order on 13 April.

The rule was described as “terrifying”, with advocates warning it would result in “mass medical detransitioning” for trans people in Missouri. 

Bailey’s proposed ban was temporarily halted by a judge on 27 April after Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition to block the regulations. 

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Lambda Legal announced on Tuesday (16 May) that Bailey had issued an order terminating the anti-trans emergency rule, but warned that, despite the victory, attacks on trans people in the state would still continue.

Nora Huppert, a staff attorney at Lambda Legal, explained: “While the immediate threat and unprecedented reach of the attorney general’s emergency rule will end, we are fully aware that the Missouri legislature continues to train its sights on Missouri’s trans community.”

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A new ban on gender-affirming care for minors in Missouri was passed in early May, as well as a ban on trans people playing for sports teams that match their lived gender. The two anti-trans laws were described by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) as a “shameful abuse of power”. 

SB49 would deny adolescent transgender Missourians access to evidence-based treatment supported by the overwhelming medical consensus. The fight against these dangerous and unprecedented attacks is far from over,” Huppert said. 

HRC said that it is currently monitoring more than 520 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that have been introduced in state houses across the country, with more than 220 of them aimed at restricting the rights of transgender people. 

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