On April 27th, the Regional Health Commission released a statement on gender-affirming care in response to the Missouri Attorney General’s emergency regulation. Read the statement from the RHC below, or click to download a pdf version.
The St. Louis Regional Health Commission and Alive and Well Communities advocate for access to gender-affirming care for transgender children and adults in Missouri.
On April 13, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey issued an emergency regulation that would severely restrict access to age appropriate, medically necessary gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary Missourians. This rule establishes new barriers to access for those seeking gender-affirming care and will end up causing harm to those it is seeking to protect. This rule was to go into effect on April 27, 2023, however, the 21st Judicial Circuit Court recently issued a temporary hold on the implementation of the rule. We expect a ruling on this case on Monday, May 1st.
Gender-affirming care, referred to as gender transition by Attorney General Bailey, is life-saving healthcare for transgender people of all ages. This care is a personal process, through which a transgender or non-binary person takes steps to authentically live in their true gender identity. It is a range of services, including medical care, mental health care, and social services. The Attorney General’s rule seeks to eliminate medically necessary, safe health care backed by decades of research and supported by every major medical association representing over 1.3 million U.S. doctors. Decisions relating to gender-affirming care are made in consultation with medical and mental health professionals AND parents (when regarding minors).
“The Regional Health Commission and Alive and Well Communities is committed to achieving zero health disparities through a community driven approach that yields health equity in all policy and outcomes. Transgender people in Missouri deserve equal access to health care if we are going to move towards eliminating health disparities. This emergency rule will only exacerbate health disparities for the LGBTQ+ community as well as the discrimination, prejudice and violence transgender and non-binary people in our state already face. We are also concerned about the impact on the overall physical, mental and social well-being of transgender Missourians of all ages once this rule goes into effect.”– Angela Brown, RHC CEO
According to a recent study by the Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention, more than 50% of transgender and non-binary youth in states across the US seriously considered suicide in the past year. The same study provides data that shows transgender youth with access to gender-affirming hormone therapy have lower rates of depression and are at a lower risk for suicide.
The Attorney General is allowing government to interfere with private, personal medical decisions that should be left to individuals and their doctors, taking away the right of transgender people of all ages to make decisions about their own health care.
For more information on gender-affirming care, visit this resource provided by the Human Rights Campaign.
Any person affected by this rule on gender-affirming care is encouraged to contact:
- Legal Help Desk at Lambda Legal or the ACLU of Missouri for more information on their legal rights.
- Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) for local services and resources available to transgender folks. MTUG maintains a list of inclusive therapists and medical providers.
- Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the St. Louis Queer+ Support Helpline at 314-380-7774 for emotional, identity-affirming support.