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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, R, has announced that his office will add guardrails for healthcare providers treating transgender minors in the wake of a whistleblower’s claims about the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Bailey noted that said his office will use existing Missouri law governing unfair, deceptive, and unconscionable business practices to add safety measures to transgender procedures for minors. He tweeted,
“In an effort to protect children and enforce the laws as written, I am issuing an emergency regulation clarifying that, because gender transition interventions are experimental, Missouri law already prohibits performing them in the absence of specific guardrails.”
He described transgender procedures as “child abuse” and stated that transgender clinics are “mutilating children for the sake of a woke, leftist agenda” as well as “inhumane science experiments.”
As such, healthcare providers must include specific disclosures informing patients and their parents that, among other things:
Under Bailey’s guidelines, gender transition interventions are now prohibited when the provider fails to:
The safety measures were put in place after Bailey’s office launched an investigation into the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
A whistleblower, Jamie Reed, who worked at the transgender clinic for four years, provided an affidavit accusing the clinic of starting nearly every child on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, as well as performing surgeries, without any concern for whether or not patients had mental health issues and without informing parents or patients about the potential side effects of the drugs being prescribed. These side effects include osteoporosis, liver issues, sexual dysfunction and infertility, hair loss, aggression, depression, and an increased risk of suicide, among many others.
Bailey noted Reed’s allegations, if true, indicate that there is “a shadowy, clandestine web of these types of clinics across Missouri.” He said his investigation into those clinics will continue.
Bailey also characterized Reed as an unexpected whistleblower, explaining,
“This is an individual who identifies as a progressive, who’s married to a trans man who asked to work as a case manager at a pediatric transgender clinic because they believe in and support transgender rights. And so when that whistleblower comes forward and says that what’s going on is frightening and dangerous and constitutes child abuse, we’ve got to take those allegations seriously.”
However, LGBT activists pushed back on the charges. One called Bailey a “disgusting human being” while another called him a “trash AG who knows nothing about medicine.”
Missouri LGBT group PROMO said, “Gender-affirming care is not experimental but a lifesaving and lifegiving standardized path of health care backed by every major medical association in the United States.”
Reed has stated that since she became a whistleblower, she has been attacked online by PROMO, a group for which she once served as a volunteer. She stated,
“It’s amazing to me that that group is one of the groups that’s attacking me online the most. You cannot have any sort of real open dialogue about [whether] this is the right medical path. Are we doing the right thing? Is the data there to support it? Are we potentially harming kids? We can’t even ask those questions without being completely villainized.”
Bailey’s order will only last 30 legislative days or 180 calendar days, whichever is longer. He said a permanent solution will need to come from the General Assembly, which may be on its way. On March 23, the state Senate passed a bill banning “gender transition procedures” for minors, though it allows those who have already been placed on puberty blockers and cross sex hormones to continue taking them.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns us that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”
The response to Bailey’s safety measures pretty much shows that the time is now. Planned Parenthood, LGBT organizations, members of the medical community, politicians, and even parents of some transgender children are deluded in thinking that the only way to save confused children is to permanently harm their bodies, so they are incensed at these measures.
This despite the fact that what Bailey has put in place is not even an outright ban on gender affirmation. It simply requires providers to practice evidence-based medicine and perform their due diligence, including diagnosing and treating any underlying causes or co-morbidities and considering low-risk alternative treatments first, such as psychiatric counseling, before putting a child on a path to permanent change and harm to their mind and body.
Guidelines have always been part of the standard of care for every medical treatment, whether it’s cancer or bariatric weight loss surgery. Giving drugs to, and doing surgeries on, children should involve even more caution and “guardrails.”
Guidelines are designed to ensure that patients are being treated not just effectively, but with the least amount of risk. Moreover, they ensure that physicians don’t test their own beliefs and hypotheses on vulnerable populations. History is replete with treatments that the medical profession got very wrong because they wanted to experiment or they wanted quick, easy fixes and they weren’t willing to wait for long-term clinical evidence.
These include the Tuskegee Experiment of untreated syphilis in black men; the use of lobotomies and forced sterilizations to treat the mentally ill; prescribing thalidomide to treat morning sickness in pregnant women, which caused devastating birth defects in their children; and the kneejerk over- and mis-prescribing of narcotic painkillers in adults and stimulants and anti-depressants in children, creating whole generations of drug addicts and drug dependents.
More recently, doctors have continued to push the COVID-19 vaccine even thought it has been proven ineffective in blocking transmission of the virus while also being proven to cause a high number of vaccine injuries, most notably myocarditis in young people.
Providers at gender clinics are committing even worse malpractice because they are treating vulnerable children using diagnostic criteria that is based on political activism and social contagion. They’re actually embracing a cultish belief system, because as Reed’s testimony shows, gender-affirming treatments in children cannot be questioned or restricted, much less opposed. Moreover, patients who choose to de-transition and live as their biological sex are ignored and even attacked by those same “gender-caring” providers.
Invasive, high-risk, unproven transgender treatments should be banned outright for children and teens, and Bailey should be commended for helping protect children even as the Missouri legislature considers outright bans on these experimental procedures.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.