Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) on Thursday enacted an emergency regulation claiming that gender-affirming health care for transgender minors is already illegal under a state law that prohibits certain medical interventions absent “adequate safeguards.”

Bailey, who is facing re-election this year, said Thursday that because sex-affirming medical interventions are considered “experimental,” they are covered by an existing Missouri law governing “unfair, deceptive and insensitive business practices,” including There are health administration care services

Bailey issued emergency rules on March 1. The rules have some restrictions for transgender adults in addition to youth.

The emergency rule enacted Thursday states that it is “an unfair, deceptive, fraudulent or otherwise unlawful practice” for any person or health organization in Missouri to recommend or administer gender-affirming health care to patients without certain safeguards, including informed consent. Disclosures and lengthy psychological or psychological evaluations.

“This urgent rule is necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare and to protect compelling government interests as the Attorney General is charged with protecting consumers, including minors, from the harms of state health care fraud and abuse. payment system,” the emergency regulation says.

Under Bailey’s emergency regulation, which takes effect April 27 and expires next year, transgender people of all ages in Missouri cannot use “medically documented, chronic, persistent and gender-affirming health care for three years” with an acute pattern of gender dysphoria.

Health care providers must annually ensure that a patient’s gender identity is not being influenced by social media or their peers. Those seeking access to gender-affirming health care should also be screened for autism, and any existing comorbidities, such as anxiety and depression, must be “treated and resolved” before treatment can be administered.

Bailey issued the emergency rule following an announcement from his office in February that a multiagency investigation had been launched into a St. Louis pediatric transgender clinic following allegations of misconduct by a former employee.

In a first-person account published in February by the Free Press, Jamie Reed, a former employee of the Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, claimed that hospital staff often failed to properly inform transgender youth and their families about the possibility. Sex-defining health care side effects and in some cases giving treatment without parental consent.

Reid made similar claims in a sworn affidavit to Bailey’s office, prompting an investigation. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mod.), responding to Reid’s claims, announced in February that his office had launched a separate investigation into the hospital’s transgender center.

Reid’s account was challenged by a report from the St. Louis Dispatch. Parents of nearly two dozen children seen at the clinic told the outlet that Reid’s allegations were “simply not true.”

Bailey said in a statement Thursday that his office has so far uncovered “a secret network” of clinics across Missouri “that are harming children by ignoring the science.”

“My office is taking steps to protect children across the state while we investigate allegations and how they are harming children,” he said.

Gender-affirming health care for both transgender youth and adults is supported by most major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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