Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey signed an emergency order Thursday placing serious restrictions on access to experimental sex changes in the state following the launch of an investigation into the whistleblower accusations of malpractice at a St. Louis pediatric gender clinic.
The move has drawn intense criticism from trans activists but has the support of many detransitioners who feel that they would not be facing a lifetime of regret had such caution been in place when they were seeking support for their gender distress.
Under the new regulation, people of all ages are required to undergo 18 months of therapy prior to commencing medical transition and to have experienced at least three consecutive years of medically-documented persistent gender dysphoria.
In the event that there are co-existing mental health issues alongside the gender dysphoria, the new rule requires that these be resolved before a medical sex change is embarked upon. A comprehensive screening for autism is also necessary.
The emergency order is a clarification of existing law. The press release explains that because gender transition interventions are experimental and have significant side effects, state law already prohibits such procedures being performed in the absence of substantial guardrails that ensure informed consent and adequate access to mental health care.
The regulation is considered necessary due to the skyrocketing number of gender transition interventions, despite rising concerns in the medical community that these interventions lack clinical evidence of safety or success.
For minors suffering from gender dysphoria, the regulation requires a screening for social media addiction.
All patients who undergo medical sex changes must be followed up for a period of at least 15 years to track all adverse effects.
"As Attorney General, I will always fight to protect children because gender transition interventions are experimental,” said Attorney General Bailey.
“My office has uncovered a clandestine network of clinics across the state who are harming children by ignoring the science. When even progressive countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, and the United Kingdom have all sharply curtailed these procedures, it’s time for the United States to course correct. My office is stepping up to protect children throughout the state while we investigate the allegations and how they are harming children.”
Prominent trans activists have responded to the regulation with accusations of genocide, with one going so far as to call the order “a nuclear bomb.”
“This is what the elimination of transgender people looks like,” tweeted Erin Reed. “They 100% intend to eliminate all of our care entirely. Stockpile your medication.”
However, many detransitioners are voicing their support for the measure.
“Make no mistake, when they talk about genocide, they are threatening mass suicide,” tweeted Ritchie Herron. “You won’t die from not having your genitals removed.”
Herron was an extremely vulnerable young adult when he was allowed to undergo a medical sex change. He is currently suing the healthcare providers whom he alleges ignored his serious mental health issues and instead ushered him towards hormone therapy and sex-reassignment surgery.
"Reading the bill, I can't help but reflect on my own treatment. If this was in place then I have no doubt in my mind I would have been caught and treated appropriately,” Herron told The Post Millennial.
Herron explains that he is autistic and was suffering from OCD, depression, and anxiety before he even entered the gender clinic. He says all these were used to affirm his “transness,” rather than affirming what he really was, which was in distress.
He initially refused surgery, but alleges that the clinic kept pushing. Herron had vaginoplasty surgery and now faces a lifetime of serious complications.
“This regulation does not stop or prevent treatment, it prevents future detransitioners, which is something we should all want. No one should experience the grief, betrayal and regret as we have,” said Herron.
“If the safeguards this order proposes had been in place before, you'd never have heard of me,” he said.
“Nobody banned anything for trans adults,” tweeted another detransitioner. “3 years is not a long time to wait to surgically remove parts of your body that you will have to live with forever.
This is not elimination. Conflating safeguarding with genocide is disgusting and appropriative. Stop.”
The emergency regulation becomes effective April 27, 2023 and expires on February 6, 2024.
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