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Missouri terminates emergency rule to limit trans care for minors, some adults

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri officials terminated the Republican attorney general’s emergency rule that would have placed limits on transgender care for minors and some adults.

The move was announced Tuesday without explanation on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. The website says: “This emergency rule terminated effective May 16, 2023.”

The rule would have required adults and children to undergo more than a year of therapy and fulfill other requirements before they could receive gender-affirming treatments such as puberty blockers, hormones and surgery.

Attorney General Andrew Bailey's spokesperson did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Bailey’s move comes less than a week after the Missouri Legislature approved a ban on minors starting care. Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, is expected to sign that law.

The ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit in late April seeking to block the rule, which would have made the state one of the first in the country to limit transgender care for adults. The lawsuit alleged the attorney general didn’t have the authority to use the state’s consumer protection law to block access to transgender-affirming care.

A judge later put the rules on hold until July.

Bailey filed his rules with the secretary of state in Apirl. They included a new therapy requirement that created an 18-month waiting period for care.

The rule would have required people to have experienced an “intense pattern” of documented gender dysphoria for three years and to have received at least 15 hourly sessions with a therapist over at least 18 months before they could receive treatment. Prospective patients also would be required to be screened for autism, and any psychiatric symptoms from mental health issues would have to be treated and resolved.

The attorney general’s office has said there are 12,400 Missourians who identify as transgender. The office has estimated that 600 to 700 Missourians would begin treatment in the next year.

Margaret Stafford, The Associated Press

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