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Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News: Missouri AG restricts gender-affirming care for all ages

Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an “emergency rule” Thursday that severely restricts access to guideline-directed gender-affirming healthcare for minors as well as adults in the state.

The rule was made under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and is slated to take effect on April 27 after paperwork is filed with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office.

The state’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter and Lambda Legal promised to take “any necessary legal action” in a joint statement released hours after the rule was made public.

“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,” the groups wrote.

Bailey’s restrictions go further than most anti-transgender policies that have been implemented in other conservative states, for example by requiring patients of all ages to complete 15 hourly sessions with a mental health professional over the course of 18-months and have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria for three “most recent, consecutive years” before treatment with puberty blockers, hormones or gender-transition surgery.

Trans Missourians with autism would be barred from accessing gender-affirming care, while those diagnosed with anxiety or depression would have to resolve those conditions beforehand. Patients who receive care would be required to complete 15 years of follow ups.

As activist and legislative researcher Erin Reed pointed out in her newsletter on the rule, “Many transgender people suffer from depression or anxiety before transitioning and gender-affirming care is the most effective treatment.”

Additionally, “To delay gender affirming care for three years for transgender adults is exceptionally cruel,” Reed wrote. “Most gender affirming care in America is done according to WPATH standards via informed consent and no forced waiting period.”

Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, urged his followers to call Republican Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to demand a rescission of the attorney general’s order.

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Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News