Missouri governor signs bill banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors, some adults
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Transgender minors and some adults in Missouri will soon be banned from accessing puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries under a bill signed Wednesday by the state’s Republican governor.
Beginning Aug. 28, Missouri health care providers won’t be able to prescribe those gender-affirming treatments for teens and children. Most adults will still have access to transgender health care under the law, but Medicaid won’t cover it.
Gender-affirming surgeries for inmates and prisoners will be outlawed.
The law is set to expire in 2027 as part of a Republican compromise with Senate Democrats.
Gov. Mike Parson also on Wednesday signed legislation that would ban transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams from kindergarten through college. Both public and private schools face losing all state funding for violating the law.
Parson called on the Republican-led Legislature to pass the bills in the final weeks of its session and threatened to keep them working past their May 12 end date if they don’t.
Republican leaders of the House and Senate pledged months ago to pass the bills, but the chambers disagreed on how restrictive the bans should be.
The House ultimately took up the Senate’s toned-down version of the health care bill, which includes an exception that allows transgender minors to continue receiving gender-affirming health care if they have already started treatment.
Missouri’s bans come amid a national push by conservatives to put restrictions on transgender and nonbinary people, which alongside abortion has become a major theme of state legislative sessions this year.
A legal challenge to the laws is possible. When the Legislature first passed the bills, the ACLU of Missouri said it “will continue to explore all options to fight these bans and to expand the rights of trans Missourians.”
The state’s Planned Parenthood clinics have been ramping up available appointments and holding pop-up clinics to start patients on treatments ahead of the law taking effect.
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