"I want Missouri to be the safest state in the nation for children. 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," Bailey wrote on Twitter.
According to the Republican attorney general, the investigation began two weeks ago before the whistleblower, Jamie Reed, went public with her story in an essay entitled "I Thought I Was Saving Trans Kids. Now I’m Blowing the Whistle," published in The Free Press on Thursday.
Reed, 42, who describes herself as a "St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders," worked at St. Louis Children's Washington University Transgender Center, where she claims she saw reckless affirmation by doctors that fast-tracked mentally ill minors to make permanent bodily changes. In her article, she detailed the stories of a 17-year-old trans-identified female who came to the emergency room bleeding heavily from vaginal lacerations caused by the testosterone she was prescribed, another minor female who developed an uncomfortable micro-penis as a result of hormonal treatment, and yet another teen girl from an unstable family who had her healthy breasts amputated then changed her mind three months later. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
"[C]inics like the one where I worked are creating a whole cohort of kids with atypical genitals—and most of these teens haven't even had sex yet," Reed said. "They had no idea who they were going to be as adults. Yet all it took for them to permanently transform themselves was one or two short conversations with a therapist."
According to Reed, the children's gender clinic also "always took the side of the affirming parent," when there were disagreements about a patient's transition plan.
"My concerns about this approach to dissenting parents grew in 2019 when one of our doctors actually testified in a custody hearing against a father who opposed a mother's wish to start their 11-year-old daughter on puberty blockers," she wrote.
The judge sided with the mother," Reed reported.
After those disturbing examples and others were made public, AG Bailey said his office has "already received a sworn affidavit from the whistleblower and documents that support her allegations," and that Missouri's Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Division of Professional Registration (DPI) are "assisting the investigation."
"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," he continued in his Twitter thread. "The sworn affidavit asserts that individuals at the Center are using experimental drugs on children, distributing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without individualized assessment, and even giving children these life-altering drugs without parental consent."
Bailey also reported that Reed also provided evidence that the clinic has been "unlawfully billing state taxpayers to fund these actions."
Listing several allegations that the whistleblower brought forward, the affidavit states that "On several occasions, the doctors have continued prescribing medical transition even when a parent stated that they were revoking consent," and that "The Center never discontinues cross-sex hormones, no matter the outcome."
"Doctors at the Center also have publicly claimed that they do not do any gender transition surgeries on minors…This was a lie. The Center regularly refers minors for gender transition surgery," the affidavit continued.
In just a two-year period from 2020 to 2022, the children's hospital initiated the medical transition of over 600 children, Reed claimed. According to the former employee, about 74 percent of those children were female.
"...These procedures were paid for mostly by private insurance, but during this time, it is my understanding that the Center also billed the cost for these procedures to state and federal publicly funded insurance programs," she stated in the affidavit. "I have personally witnessed staff say they were uncomfortable with how the Center has told them they have to code bills sent to publicly funded insurance programs. I have witnessed staff directly ask the providers for clarification on billing questions and have providers dismiss the concerns and work to have the patients have this care covered as the priority.”
In a statement to the AG's office, DPI director Sheila Solon said, her agency's mission is "the protection of the public, especially those most vulnerable."
"The Division's licensing boards will investigate the complaints they receive as part of this investigation, and take any necessary action against the licenses of Missouri professionals in violation of the boards' statutory and regulatory authority to ensure health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Missouri," she said.
Robert Knodell, the acting director of Missouri's Department of Social Services also released a statement, saying that the department "takes its role to investigate concerns of potential fraud, waste, or abuse in Missouri's Medicaid program seriously."
"We will investigate concerns raised in order to ensure the health and safety of our Medicaid participants and to protect the integrity of the Medicaid program," he added.
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