Missouri Attorney General Withdraws Restrictions on Transgender Medical Care

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey on Tuesday withdrew an emergency rule restricting medical care for transgender people.

Missouri was supposed to be the first state to significantly restrict care for transgender adults, but the rule was scrapped on Tuesday, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

Bailey’s actions Tuesday effectively ended a legal battle in St. Louis County over the rule, which also affected minors. A judge in the case had temporarily suspended enforcement of the restrictions until July.

Bailey, a Republican, announced his rule in March and submitted it to the secretary of state in April. It included a new treatment requirement with an 18-month waiting period for treatment.

His Tuesday action also followed last week’s passing of restrictions on transgender medical care for minors by the Missouri legislature. Republican Governor Mike Parson is expected to sign the bill.

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Bailey’s decision was not unexpected after an initial court loss and lawsuits by lawmakers. He hinted last week that his efforts may be scrapped.

“Unless and until the General Assembly decides to take action on this issue, and until it is decided, we stand in a ditch,” Bailey said in a statement Tuesday.

His actions on Tuesday came on a day when the news was centered on his attempt to get St. Louis Circuit Court Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner removed from office.

There was no official announcement from his office that he had withdrawn the controversial rule as he prepares for a full-term run as attorney general in 2024.

When Bailey first announced the rules this spring, he only mentioned rules for minors.

His spokesperson confirmed after the rule was filed that the restrictions affect everyone. Under the new rules, puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery would all be restricted.

“We believe everyone deserves evidence-based medical care and appropriate mental health care,” Bailey’s spokeswoman Madeleine Thielen said at the time.

When the rule was announced, Family Planning, which provides hormone replacement therapy to patients over the age of 16, said Bailey’s rule was an attempt to “effectively ban gender-affirming care in Missouri.” .

Even after being criticized for his unprecedented behavior, Republicans refused to defend him.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican running for gubernatorial election in 2024, predicted the rule would never actually go into effect.

Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, a Republican running for gubernatorial, declined to comment on Bailey’s rule.

Parson, who appointed Bailey to the post, also said he disagrees with restricting medical care to adults.

Bailey gave regulatory authority to the Missouri Mercantile Exchange Act, a consumer protection law enforced by the Attorney General.

Following Tuesday’s news, House Minority Leader Crystal Quaid, Democratic Rep. Springfield, said Missourians didn’t deserve an attorney general who “persecutes innocent Missourians for political gain.”

“Andrew Bailey has seriously deviated from his legal authority and we all know that,” she said in a statement. “So it’s not surprising that he withdrew the unconstitutional rule knowing that another embarrassing court loss was inevitable.”

On Wednesday, May 10, 2023, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill restricting medical care available to transgender children. House Democrats condemned the proposal, while Republicans voiced their support.Video edited by Beth O’Malley

Beth O’Malley

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