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Gender-Affirming Care Ban: Families And Transgender Advocates Are Suing To Block New Missouri Law

Gender-Affirming Care Ban: Families And Transgender Advocates Are Suing To Block New Missouri Law | CNN

Three families with transgender children have filed a lawsuit to prevent a new law in Missouri that would prohibit gender-affirming care for most minors. The law, called the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act,” is set to be implemented on August 28.

The lawsuit claims that the new law would prevent these children from receiving crucial and evidence-based gender-affirming care under the guidance of their families and doctors.

The new Missouri law would ban health care providers from performing gender-affirming care, using puberty blockers, and providing hormone treatments to individuals under 18 years old. However, the law does include an exception for those who started gender-affirming care prior to its enforcement.

In response, the families of transgender children, along with advocacy groups, have filed a lawsuit against Missouri, expressing their fear and outrage over the state’s infringement on their rights as parents to seek necessary healthcare for their children.

Gender-affirming care includes medical, surgical, and mental health services which are considered essential by major medical organizations to help transgender and non-binary individuals’ transition from their assigned gender at birth to their affirmed gender.

At least 19 states in the US have passed laws that restrict access to gender-affirming care for children and teenagers, as the country faces a surge of anti-LGBTQ legislation. Some of these laws even impose prison time for healthcare professionals who provide gender-affirming care to minors. However, a few states have included limited exceptions allowing minors to continue medication-based or nonsurgical gender-affirming care.

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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey. | STLPR

The new Missouri law states that providing gender-affirming care to individuals under the age of 18 is considered unprofessional conduct and will result in the revocation of the healthcare provider’s license.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey argued that there are no FDA approvals for puberty blockers or cross-hormones for treating gender dysphoria in children. The Attorney General sought to impose strict restrictions on gender-affirming care, but later withdrew the rules after state lawmakers passed their own ban on gender-affirming care. Bailey opposes letting “left-wing ideologues experiment on children.”

In a report by ABC News, Lambda Legal attorney Nora Huppert argues that allowing the law to take effect in Missouri would deny transgender adolescents access to evidence-based gender-affirming care supported by medical consensus. Huppert considers the law to be harmful, cruel, and life-threatening.

Missouri’s Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who initially tried to ban minors’ access to gender-affirming care, is now responsible for defending the legislation in court.

Major medical organizations like the American Medical Association are not in favor on gender-affirming care bans for minors and support appropriate medical care for youth. Lawsuits have been filed in several states where similar gender-affirming care bans have been implemented this year.

Under the law, while most adults will still have access to gender-affirming care, Medicaid will no longer cover it, and prisoners’ access to surgeries will be limited.

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Read More| Families of transgender children and advocacy groups sue to block a Missouri law banning most gender-affirming care for minors

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