Judge temporarily blocks Missouri trans health care restrictions

Missouri’s Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s emergency order barring gender-affirming care has been temporarily stayed by a district court, marking a tiny success for the state’s advocates.

On Wednesday, Judge Ellen Ribaudo delayed the enforcement of an order that would have made it more difficult for transgender minors and adults to obtain necessary medical care, such as puberty inhibitors and hormone replacement therapy. The decision stipulates that trans persons must first undertake 18 months of rigorous therapy and live in accordance with their gender for three years before they are eligible for these sorts of required care. Individuals who have been diagnosed with autism are not permitted to participate in transition care under any circumstances, and those who are currently experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns are ineligible until they are treated. The injunction’s original effective date was Thursday, but it has been pushed out to Monday so that the court may consider a restraining order against the policy. Lambda Legal and the ACLU have launched a lawsuit to get the order overturned.

An official with Planned Parenthood referred to the ruling as a “temporary win, not only for our patients but for everyone across Missouri because politicians have no business blocking anyone from the care they want and need.” The group, which provides gender-affirming treatment, told STLPR it was “optimistic” the court will permanently strike down the limits.

The Bailey office emphasized that the judgement issued this week is not a final decision on the policy, which the court may decide to leave stand while the dispute progresses. When it comes to limiting access to transition care for adults, Missouri is top in the nation.