Lawsuit seeks to block Missouri ban on transgender care for minors • Missouri Independent

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A lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cole County is attempting to block the implementation of Missouri’s ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors.

Attorneys at the ACLU of Missouri and Lambda Legal argue the ban could have “extremely serious negative health consequences.” 

“On its face, the law enshrines discriminatory practices in our health care system by specifically denying transgender Missourians under the age of eighteen access to evidence-based gender-affirming medical care while stripping parents of their fundamental right to make medical decisions for their children,” Gillian Wilcox, deputy director of litigation at the ACLU of Missouri, said in a statement.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the families of three transgender minors and Southampton Community Healthcare, which provides gender-affirming care. Other named plaintiffs are two of Southampton’s providers and two national LGBTQ+ organizations.

The American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the Endocrine Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association have approved the use of gender-affirming care for transgender people.

“Doctors, nurses, and all health professionals play a crucial role in promoting healthier and happier communities in Missouri and beyond,” Alex Sheldon, executive director of GLMA, said in a statement released Tuesday evening. “(Missouri’s ban) blatantly undermines the extensive expertise and life-saving work of health professionals by placing unnecessary constraints on their ability to provide essential care for transgender patients.”

In April, the ACLU and Lambda Legal challenged Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s emergency rule that would have prevented both minors and adults from accessing gender-affirming care. Once state lawmakers passed their gender-affirming-care ban, Bailey withdrew the rule, dismissing the case.

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