ST. LOUIS – Reaction to a plan by Missouri Attorney Andrew Bailey to restrict gender-affirming care is drawing sharp criticisms from advocates for transgender youth. The Missouri Senate gave initial approval for the transgender related bans Tuesday morning.
Both bills need a final vote from the Senate before heading to the House. Under a new version of the SAFE Act, minors already going through the transition process can continue. Also, both bills have a sunset that expires in 2027, allowing lawmakers to review the law.
“These kids are fabulous kids, and there is nothing that I would like better than for them to just be themselves,” said Susan Halla, executive director of TransParent, a national organization that provides support for the families of transgender and gender-nonconforming youth.
Bailey’s office shared details of his plan on Monday.
Planned Parenthood was among the organizations calling Bailey’s claims false and harmful and insisting gender-affirming care is safe, effective, and life-saving.
The ACLU of Missouri believes Bailey is outside his authority to implement the restrictions and has called them reckless and dangerous.
The news comes following an allegation from a former employee at the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital that alleged teens receiving care were not properly vetted.
The center responded to Monday’s news by stating, in part:
“We take the care of our patients very seriously. Our focus remains on our commitment to providing compassionate, family-centered care to all of the patients and families we serve.”
PROMO, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, also denounced Bailey’s plans.
“His office is politicizing health care,” said Robert Fischer, a spokesperson for PROMO. “It really sets up a dangerous precedent if the state is wanting to ban certain health care for certain individuals.”
Rabbi Daniel Bogard is the parent of a trans child. He predicts Bailey’s action will only make lives harder for some of the most vulnerable and bullied kids in the state.
“Republican politicians are chewing up trans kids and their families because they think it’s good politics for them,” Bogard said.