A Missouri judge blocked an emergency rule by the state’s attorney general that would require people experiencing gender dysphoria to have therapy before starting gender transition medical treatments.
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo issued a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s emergency rule until May 15. She scheduled a May 11 hearing on the lawsuit challenging the rule, the AP reports.
The restraining order was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal that alleged that the plaintiffs would be irreparably harmed if Bailey’s emergency order was enforced.
Bailey’s rule was imposed as alarm grows about the dearth of the scientific evidence regarding the harmful impacts of transgender medical procedures and treatments which the state argues is potentially dangerous according to an “emerging international consensus.”
In February, Bailey’s office launched an independent investigation into transgender medical services, following allegations that they had been harmful to minors.
“We have received disturbing allegations that individuals at the Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been harming hundreds of children each year, including by using experimental drugs on them,” said Attorney General Bailey in a statement about the investigations. “We take this evidence seriously and are thoroughly investigating to make sure children are not harmed by individuals who may be more concerned with a radical social agenda than the health of children.”
The allegations surfaced after a whistleblower came forward and said that Washington University Pediatric Transgender Center lied to parents, administered drugs without patient consent and withheld information about potential negative side effects.
The whistleblower, Jamie Reed, who describes herself as a “42-year-old St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders,” was employed at the pediatric transgender center from 2018 to 2022.
In January 2023, the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine issued a report warning that studies regarding transitional medical services for gender dysphoric patients overstates the benefits and downplays the negative consequences.
Bailey’s office remains confident the court will ultimately find in favor of the state’s emergency order requiring counseling for gender dysphoria before receiving treatment.
Bailey believes ultimately that the science will show the need for more caution when it comes to the issue, especially for minors.
“We remain confident in our position because the Court even acknowledged that it deferred its consideration of the science until a later date,” said Bailey in a statement about the case.