Medical Experts, Parents of Trans Kids, Trans Adults, and Faith Leaders Voiced Opposition to Three Anti-Trans Bills

Feb 14, 2023 | Newsroom

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The three pieces of legislation heard on Tuesday, February 14, seek to ban transgender youth access to gender-affirming healthcare

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 14, 2023) — PROMO, Missouri’s LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization, organized Missourians from across the state to testify in opposition at the Missouri Senate Emerging Issues Committee’s public hearing of three bills — Senate Bill 49 (R-Moon), Senate Bill 164 (R-Carter), and Senate Bill 236 (R-Hoskins) — on Tuesday, February 14. The set of legislation bans transgender youth from accessing gender-affirming care by threatening felony prosecution against parents and guardians of transgender youth who provide a path for gender-affirming care to their children and by revoking the licenses of medical providers and mental health practitioners who provide healthcare for transgender youth.

The expert testifiers who spoke in opposition included Dr. Brandon Barthel, an endocrinologist from Kansas City, Casey Pick of The Trevor Project, Tori Schafer of the ACLU Missouri, Cassie Brown of the National Association of Social Workers, Dr. Katie Heiden Rootes of St. Louis University’s Transgender Health Collaborative, and Anneliese Schaffer whose child was the first to go through the Missouri State High School Activities Association’s transgender athlete policy.

Immediately following the public hearing, PROMO released these statements to urge the Senate committee members to oppose and vote no on the three anti-trans bills:

Katy Erker-Lynch (she/her & they/them)

“These bills would force doctors and medical professionals to violate existing standards of medical care — care backed by all major medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics,” said Katy Erker-Lynch, Executive Director of PROMO. “Gender-affirming healthcare, like all healthcare, is individualized for each child and is determined by an interdisciplinary team of medical professionals alongside the parents to allow the child the opportunity to thrive as their authentic self.”

Shira Berkowitz (they/them)

“It is shameful tactic to use transgender, and specifically transgender kids, bodies as political pawns to further legislation that only harms,” said Shira Berkowitz, Sr. Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for PROMO. “These bills are the most dangerous attempts against the lives of a marginalized group where we know denying access to healthcare directly puts trans lives at risk.”

PROMO is Missouri’s LGBTQ+ policy and advocacy organization that confronts systemic inequities to liberate the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and oppression. For more information, visit

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Robert Fischer