Missouri medical schools halt child sex changes following state ban
The University of Missouri and Washington University medical schools will no longer be physically altering minors' bodies for gender transitions in accordance with the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act.
The SAFE Act bans all surgeries, castration, hormone therapy, and ‘other procedures’ for gender transitioning.
Missouri medical schools are beginning to comply with a recently adopted a ban on so-called “gender transition procedures” for children. Passed on Aug. 28, the legislation bans healthcare providers from altering a minor’s body, surgically or otherwise, to match his or her gender identity.
Legislators call it the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act.” In addition to surgical “procedure[s] performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a gender transition,” it also bans cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers for minors.
Considered “unprofessional conduct,” an alteration to a minor’s body for the purposes of gender transition is classified in the bill as legitimate cause of action. Licensed medical practicians who offer these services face license revocation and liability for restitution including up to $500,000 and any other noneconomic damages.
The provisions will not apply to protected speech under the First Amendment. Nor does the legislation deny treatment to “individuals born with a medically-verifiable disorder of sex development.” The SAFE act further exempts anyone already undergoing surgery or therapy as of Aug. 28.
The bill was one of two bills approved on May 10 that affect transgender-identifying youth. The other prevents biological males from competing on female sports teams.
To date, only the University of Missouri and Washington University have made public statements about the state ban on gender transition surgeries.
“Washington University physicians will no longer prescribe puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors for purposes of gender transition,” the school posted on Sept. 11.
Despite the provisions made for youths undergoing transition prior to Aug. 28, both schools have revoked pre-existing procedures, according to a report by the Missouri Independent. The schools allege “legal risks” as the determining factor.
Washington University and the University of Missouri were contacted for comment, but have yet to respond. The article will be updated accordingly.