Missouri gender-affirming care restrictions temporarily blocked by court
A Missouri state court on Monday temporarily stayed an order by the state's attorney general imposing restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender youth and adults from taking effect.
The big picture: The order, issued by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, is among the first state actions to target gender-affirming care for adults, as more legislation has focused on prohibiting access to trans minors.
- Bailey's order was set to take effect last week, but a judge stayed it until May 1. Monday's court ruling extends that stay until May 15.
Catch up fast: Bailey issued the emergency rules in April, restricting access to gender-affirming care for trans youth and adults, arguing that such treatment is "experimental."
- The order states that a trans patient must present an "intense pattern" of gender dysphoria for at least three years before accessing gender-affirming treatments.
- A patient must have gone through a "full psychological or psychiatric assessment," which consists of at least 15 sessions over 18 months.
- A health provider must also ensure that a patient is screened for autism and, if they're a minor, a provider must determine if they have a "social media addiction or compulsion."
The ACLU of Missouri last week challenged Bailey's order, arguing that the state attorney general has no authority to restrict access to gender-affirming care, which is supported by several leading health associations.
Details: St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo issued a temporary restraining order, and said that if Bailey's order were to take effect, patients would be "subjected to immediate and irreparable loss, damage or injury," per AP.
- Ribaudo set a hearing for May 11 on whether the court should grant a preliminary injunction on the order.
- If granted, a preliminary injunction will prevent the order from taking effect until the court issues a ruling on the case.