Missouri attorney general defends 'guardrails' that slow down transgender 'care'

Missouri attorney general defends 'guardrails' that slow down transgender 'care'

Missouri attorney general defends 'guardrails' that slow down transgender 'care'

Facing left-wing lawsuits and unhappy lobbyists, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey insists he is protecting confused and vulnerable transgenders in his state from making hasty, life-changing choices.

In March, Bailey announced plans for new restrictions on so-called "gender-affirming care" in his state, but the discussion at the time was focused on minors.

Last week, Bailey spokesperson Madeline Sieren clarified the state’s position and said adults would also be covered.

Bailey said on American Family Radio Wednesday that his emergency regulation has been logged with the secretary of state’s office. They will take effect April 27, next Thursday, and will expire Feb. 6, 2024.

That should be adequate time, he said, for Missouri lawmakers to debate and perhaps enact more permanent legislation.

The move does not ban gender-affirming care but it gives physicians a lengthy list of requirements centered around informed-consent disclosures before prescribing puberty blockers and more requirements before scheduling a surgery. For example, to remain compliant with state law a physician must ensure that the patient has received a full psychological or psychiatric assessment consisting of no fewer than 15 separate hourly sessions.

That’s the first on a list with nine bullet points. Bailey calls them “guardrails,” and there are 21 in all.

“This is the most we can do in this moment of time to stand in the gap to provide patients the information they need to make informed decisions and protect kids," he told show host Jenna Ellis. "And we'll look at a more permanent rule going forward.

“The Left wants to frame this as some kind of anti-trans activity, and really this is designed to protect patients," Bailey told the radio program. "Why shouldn't patients be afforded access to mental health services? Why shouldn't patients understand that these drugs are experimental, not approved for these procedures? Why shouldn't patients understand that cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers have serious long-term health consequences and surgeries are irreversible?” 

He says regulation is necessary because of a “skyrocketing” increase in the number of gender transition surgeries in the state.

Opponents pledge legal action

The American Civil Liberties Union has pledged to take legal action against Bailey’s emergency regulation.

“The Attorney General’s so-called emergency rule is based on distorted, misleading, and debunked claims and ignores the overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence supporting this care as well as the medical experts and doctors who work with transgender people every day. This rule is a shocking attempt to exploit Missouri’s consumer protection laws in order to play politics with life-saving medical care,” an ACLU statement read.

Media reports a number of European nations are rethinking their response to gender-affirming treatments. Bailey believes the US should as well and calls this a human rights issue.

Bailey, Andrew (Missouri AG) Bailey

“It’s understanding that we're created in the image of God, and that's something to be respected, not mutilated. Think about what the Left is fighting against. They're fighting against patients having access to information, and there's an important number here, and that's zero. There are zero clinical trials or FDA approvals showing that puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are safe for gender dysphoria,” Bailey said.

Included on the list of Missouri’s new guardrails is “social contagion.” Physicians must ensure that a patient is not seeking gender surgery because of undue influence from social media.

While lawmakers consider their next move,resistance comes not only from the Left but also from pharmaceutical groups and other corporations.

“Certainly we know it's there. We know that there are large woke corporations that have monetized these kinds of procedures and these kinds of treatments, these left wing ideologies masquerading as medicine. We know that the ideologues on the Left are pushing a radical agenda,” Bailey said.

Detransitioners: The forgotten sub-group

Bailey said more than half of “de-transitioners,” those who begin the process but choose to stop, report having received inadequate information before being put on life-altering drugs.

“We're racing down the path of administering these pills, getting these kids and adults addicted to these drugs causing permanent or long-term health consequences,” Bailey said. “And then they're stuck on it for life. There’s absolutely an economic incentive for Woke big corporations to keep pushing this stuff into our society and get those people addicted, get them hooked into this system, and then they're paying out for life.”

Some transgenders say detransitioning is a media narrative that is harmful to their cause.

Reported rates vary, but many believe detransitioning is often unreported as patients simply stop keeping appointments.

“All patients of all ages should have this information," the Missouri AG concluded. "This isn't interfering with people's private sexual behavior. This is protecting patients. These rules are necessary to protect consumers and protect patients."