Several Missouri legislative bills are awaiting Gov. Mike Parson’s decision, including two Republican priorities that would limit transgender healthcare and sports participation.

A Columbia school board member with a transgender child has resigned and plans to move out of state due to these bills passing.

House Speaker Dean Plocher, R-Des Peres, said Missouri families with transgender members should not be fearful of the bills.

“I don’t think this body, this caucus has any disdain for anybody, okay. What we’re doing is protecting children from undergoing what we determined, we believe, is harmful procedures when you’re a teenager,” said Plocher. “To be given drugs to become permanently sterile, to change your body when you’re a teenager, you can’t even lawfully drive, or drink, or vote and they’re asking you to be able to do that to a child. I think that’s entirely wrong.”

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said the chance to do more bipartisan work was replaced by Republicans derailing it with “an extreme agenda centered on culture wars to divide Missourians.”

“House Democrats believe in building our state into a place where people want to live and businesses want to locate,” she said. “That won’t happen by terrorizing innocent children and their families to the point they feel it necessary to flee the state to be safe from their very own government. We have a childcare crisis in our state and everyone is begging for help. Instead of addressing that, they focus on terrorizing trans families.”

Senate Bill 49 would ban doctors from prescribing or giving cross-sex hormones or puberty-blocking drugs to any person under 18 years old. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove, would also ban physicians from doing gender transition surgery on minors. Doctors who violate the bill could have their medical license revoked. Violations could also be grounds for a cause of action in a lawsuit against the health provider.

Senate Bill 39, sponsored by Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder, R-Sikeston, would require athletes to compete on sports teams aligned with their biological sex. The restrictions are for Missouri public and private schools through college. Schools can allow a female student to compete in sports designated for male students if no corresponding competition for female students is offered or available. Any Missouri school that violates the bill could lose state aid or other state revenues.

Gov. Parson is expected to sign the bills because he threatened to call a special session if lawmakers did not pass them.

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