A judge has refused to block a Missouri law prohibiting any new gender-altering treatments for minors. The law now goes into effect as scheduled on Monday.
St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer issued the much-anticipated ruling Friday afternoon.
“We put their ‘science’ under a microscope, and it spoke for itself,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey posted on X. “Missouri’s children have won. To all of the victims of this transition enterprise, thank you for coming forward and sharing your stories.”
“This is a huge win for the safety of Missouri children,” Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe also posted on X. “I appreciate the efforts of the Missouri Legislature and @AGAndrewBailey to ensure that the bodies of children are not canvasses for experimentation and woke ideology.”
The decision comes after a multi-day court hearing ending Wednesday in a lawsuit seeking to strike the law down. Plaintiffs in the case, including the ACLU and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, had asked the court for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from going into effect while the lawsuit plays out.
The ban is for four years, but does not include those minors who have already started such treatments.
Bailey, whose office is defending the law in court, told The Lion Thursday that the law is “about protecting children.”
“The other side of this issue wants to find a constitutional right to sterilize children,” he said. “We think it is morally abhorrent to sterilize children. It is absolutely, constitutionally valid for our legislature to put a stop to it through enacting a statute.”
The judge’s decision comes amid explosive claims by a whistleblower last February that the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital was “hastily prescribing hormone drugs to some young patients, including those with psychiatric issues.”
Extensive new reporting by the New York Times has now verified former caseworker Jamie Reed’s primary allegations, “including that the center failed to help some who regretted their transitions,” as the New York Post put it.
After interviews with dozens of patients and inspecting hundreds of documents, the Times found that “the St. Louis clinic relied heavily on external therapists, including some who had little experience with gender issues, to vet the incoming patients to see if they should be prescribed hormonal medications.”
Bailey’s office is performing its own investigation into the allegations at the center.
Reed said she became convinced during her four years at the center that it was “permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care.”
“I came to believe that teenagers are simply not capable of fully grasping what it means to make the decision to become infertile while still a minor.”