AG Bailey ends emergency rules restricting transgender healthcare

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is ending his emergency rules restricting transgender health care.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOV) – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is ending his emergency rules restricting transgender health care.

In March, Bailey announced an emergency regulation against gender transition interventions for minors. Earlier this month, a St. Louis County judge temporarily blocked the rules from being enforced hours before they were set to take effect.

On Tuesday, Bailey told News 4 he was dropping the rules because the Missouri Legislature had passed restrictions on transgender health care for minors.

“The legislature has now passed a ban that exceeds the authority of the rule that we passed, so we will now be prepared to defend the statute in court,” said Bailey. “We were standing in the gap in healthcare to protect patients unless or until the General Assembly acted, and the General Assembly closed the gap by enacting a statute.”

One Missouri legislator said Bailey withdrew his emergency ruling for a different reason.

“Andrew Bailey grossly overstepped his legal authority, and everyone knows it. So, it isn’t surprising he withdrew his unconstitutional rule knowing another embarrassing court defeat was inevitable. Missourians deserve an attorney general worthy of the office, not one who persecutes innocent Missourians for political gain,” House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said in a statement.

In response to the dropping of the rules, the ACLU of Missouri released the following statement:

“After weeks of embarrassing Missouri on the national stage, the Attorney General has finally joined everyone else in recognizing that his hasty attempt to usurp other branches of government cannot withstand scrutiny. His transparently faux concern for trans youth could not mask that his willingness to abuse his office in an attempt to erase from public all transgender Missourians. Today’s actions are a victory for Missourians’ right to bodily autonomy, but the fight is not over.

“While recently passed legislation is not as extreme as the Attorney General’s unlawful rule, it still rejects the recommendations of every major medical association based on decades of peer-reviewed studies supporting the necessity of life-saving gender-affirming care. If it is allowed to become law, the legislation would substitute the uninformed opinions of politicians for patient and parental consent informed by knowledgeable medical professionals. The Governor should veto Senate Bills 39 and 49 and afford trans youth and their families the dignity of continuing make important medical decisions without interference from the political branches of government.”

Last week, the Missouri House of Representatives officially sent two controversial bills related to transgender kids and young adults to Governor Mike Parson’s desk. One bill bans medical care for transgender minors under the age of 18. This includes treatments such as puberty blockers, hormone therapy and certain types of surgery. The other bill requires student-athletes to play on teams that coincide with their gender assigned at birth.

Both bills still need to be signed by Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.