KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s attorney general has a warning for several providers across the state, including Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy and Planned Parenthood.
Senate Bill 49 took effect Monday, banning transgender children and some adults from receiving gender-affirming care.
The law blocks access to puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for those under 18. Minors who began puberty blockers or hormones before Monday will be allowed to continue on those medications, but other minors won’t have access to those drugs.
Additionally, Medicaid will no longer cover gender-affirming treatments for adults, and the state will not provide gender-affirming surgeries to prisoners.
On Monday, Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued a letter to multiple health care providers saying they must “immediately cease and desist performing gender transition surgeries on minors.”
Physicians who violate the law face some big risks. Violations could lead to the state revoking licenses, and patients with an illegal procedure could file a lawsuit seeking up to $500,000 in damages.
Bailey said he sent the letter to the following health care facilities:
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Southampton Healthcare, St. Louis
- Children’s Mercy, Kansas City
- Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Kansas City
- Planned Parenthood, St. Louis
- AIDS Project of the Ozarks, Springfield
“The people of Missouri have spoken decisively on this issue through their elected representatives, and the courts, after a full evidentiary hearing, have declined to enjoin the law. The time for experimenting on Missouri’s children is over,” Bailey said.
A spokesperson for Children’s Mercy Hospital released the following statement to FOX4:
“Children’s Mercy is complying with the new law. The care, privacy, and wellbeing of the patients we serve remains our top priority.”
A Missouri judge ruled just days ago that the law could take effect as scheduled.
The ACLU of Missouri, Lambda Legal, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner had sued last month to overturn the law on behalf of doctors, LGBTQ+ organizations, and three families of transgender minors, arguing that it is discriminatory.
They asked that the law be temporarily blocked as the court challenge against it plays out.
Every major medical organization in the U.S., including the American Medical Association, has opposed bans on gender-affirming care for minors and supported the medical care for youth when administered appropriately.
But proponents of the law argued gender-affirming medical treatments are unsafe and untested.