A Missouri court has rejected a bid to freeze the state’s pending transgender healthcare ban. That means the proposed restrictions are on tap to go into law Monday.
Last month, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Lambda Legal, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner law firm sued to overturn the law. They argued that the law is discriminatory. They asked that the proposed limits be temporarily blocked while the challenge works its way through the court system.
St. Louis Judge Steven Ohmer ruled today that the groups have not successfully argued why the pending law should temporarily be blocked.
“The science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear,” he said. “Accordingly, the evidence raises more questions than answers.”
The law would bar Missouri doctors from prescribing or giving cross-sex hormones or puberty-blocking drugs to any person under 18 years old. It would also ban physicians from doing gender transition surgery on minors.
Minors prescribed puberty blockers or hormones before August 28 would be able to continue to receive those drugs.
As for adults, Medicaid would no longer cover treatments for them, and the state will not provide those surgeries to prisoners.
Doctors who violate the law could have their licenses revoked.
The law is set to expire in August 2027.
Aro Royston, Board Secretary for PROMO Missouri, the state’s LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization, said the group is enraged.
“Not only has our government and elected officials failed us, but now our justice system has failed to do its job in protecting the most vulnerable of our population. The courts told the transgender community, parents of gender-expansive youth, and the entire LGBTQ+ community that we do not exist, that we do not have the right to make our own medical decisions or the right to bodily autonomy. There is no categorical ban like this in the world making the actions of the Missouri State Government the most egregious in history,” Royston said in a written statement. “The rationale was that the “science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear” even though every major medical association in the United States supports gender-affirming healthcare as the standard of care. We also know that youth who do not have access to this life-saving and medically necessary healthcare are at risk for depression and suicide.”
In a court brief, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, a Republican, said that blocking the law would open the gate to interventions that a growing international consensus has said may be “extraordinarily damaging.” He provided a written statement about today’s ruling.
“Missouri is the first state in the nation to successfully defend at the trial court level a law barring child mutilation. I’ve said from day one as Attorney General that I will fight to ensure that Missouri is the safest state in the nation for children. This is a huge step in that direction. What a day,” he said.
The next court hearing in the case is scheduled for September 22.
To read the judge’s order, click here.
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