Missouri’s Recently Enacted Transgender Healthcare Ban is Causing Harm to Trans Youth as Medical Providers Reassess Care

Sep 12, 2023 | Newsroom

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Two Missouri major medical systems have ceased gender-affirming healthcare for transgender minors even with the law’s grandfather clause protecting some

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 12, 2023) — The University of Missouri Health (MU Health) and the Washington University Transgender Center (Wash U) medical systems ceased gender-affirming healthcare services for all transgender minors. This action was in response to Missouri’s recently enacted law banning transgender healthcare for some transgender minors and adults. MU Health halted care on Monday, August 28 and Wash U announced its decision on Monday, September 11, both are concerned about the new legal claim for patients who received puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as minors. The healthcare systems will continue to offer mental health, education, and other gender-affirming care not impacted by the law.

PROMO, Missouri’s LGBTQ+ public policy and advocacy organization, shared a statement from Shira Berkowitz (they/them), Sr. Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for PROMO, pointing to these recent developments as the exact reason why a preliminary injunction was needed in the court case being fought by the ACLU of Missouri, Lambda Legal, and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner:

“Our court system had the opportunity to do its job by protecting our most vulnerable populations. Instead, it stood behind the political ideology every other branch of government has used to justify taking away the rights of children, parents, and adults to make their own medical decisions. St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer said in his order there was not a ‘sufficient threat of irreparable injury absent injunctive relief’ — the hundreds of patients across the state who, in just two weeks, have lost access to life-saving, medically necessary healthcare prove that point invalid. 

“To the Missouri State Legislature, the Missouri Attorney General, and Governor Parson: We know the new election cycle is about to begin. We know you’re proud you’re able to say you kicked a trans kid and to have blatantly committed a hate crime against transgender Missourians.

“We are working quickly with coalition partners to explore all possible avenues to combat the harm being inflicted upon transgender Missourians. Meanwhile, we still need to hear from people who are negatively impacted by these anti-transgender laws whether it be blatant discrimination, unfair bias, direct harm, or the inability to access care.”

PROMO continues to urge transgender Missourians to share how they are impacted by the two anti-transgender laws through their story collection initiative. Transgender Missourians needing support can reach out to local trans-led organizations such as Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG), Trans Housing Initiative St. Louis (THISTL), or St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline (SQSH) in St. Louis, Kansas City Center for Inclusion (KCCI) or Transformations in Kansas City, and Springfield Transgender and Ally Resource Team (START) in Springfield.

If you are thinking about harming yourself, get immediate support. Connect to a crisis counselor 24/7, 365 days a year, from anywhere in the U.S. It is 100% confidential and 100% free. You can reach The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386, you can also chat or text by sending ‘START’ to 678-678.

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 PROMOonline.org.