Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey earlier this month issued an emergency order, virtually banning gender-affirming health care in the state. It is an outrageous assault on the LGBTQ community that is set to take effect April 27. It will strip thousands of people of their rights, personhood and in some cases their lives.
Missouri state authorities are whipping the state into a panic against transgender people with a propaganda war full of lies and misinformation. The latest measure from the Attorney General is aimed at blocking ADULT trans people from accessing health care treatments that are agreed upon by patients and their doctors. It’s not just children, but all trans people who are targeted.
The ruling requires transgender people to jump through numerous hoops in order to access care. Among other things, this includes three years of documented gender dysphoria, 18 months of therapy, to be free of any mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, or “social media addiction,” which must be certified every year. Bailey has even issued an online form for people to report on each other to authorities, in other words, undisguised vigilantism!
These restrictions apply to all Missourians regardless of age.
This most recent attack is part and parcel of a coordinated and calculated attempt by the far right across the United States to roll back all of the rights won by the people over decades of struggle, from abortion rights, to same-sex marriage, to voting and civil rights.
The ultra-right agenda
It is part of a calculated effort to secure political power and distract people from the real problems facing the state: lack of good jobs, lack of health care, police violence and the fact that trillions of tax dollars are spent on wars abroad instead of needs at home. But the consequences of this attack, filled with lies and misinformation, are very real and dangerous for Missouri’s trans community, already one of the most vulnerable in the state.
On April 29, we are calling all people of conscience to join together and rally to say ‘NO’ to these nonstop attacks on trans people. We understand what this is: an age-old tactic to have working people fighting each other to distract us from fighting for our common interests.
Republican politicians use the words “family values” over and over — what a joke! These are the same politicians that oppose tax credits for parents, who have spent years blocking universal child care, health care and paid maternal leave. They block measures to raise the minimum wage and control rents — their whole program is aimed at exploiting families, not helping them.
The same rules that we expect for the rest of society must apply to trans people too, and that is: The state has no business interfering in people’s private health care decisions. People may have different opinions on what medical treatments they’d approve of for themselves or their families, but it’s not the government’s business to BAN care that medical professionals have approved and regulated.
The issue of children in Missouri getting irreversible surgeries, or young kids taking hormones, has been sensationally invented. The recognized standards of care in treating trans children already requires a staged approach, starting with prolonged psychological assessments — not drugs — prior to puberty, and before any temporary puberty blockers are taken by adolescents. And it requires parental consent.
Trans adolescents and adults are our community members, not our enemies. The trans community deserves to be treated with dignity like everyone else. Instead, they’re facing new levels of harassment and violence, and are being bullied to stop their health care treatments. None of this makes the working people of Missouri stronger or more united. It’s time to come together and fight for jobs, education, housing, health care, equal rights and social peace for all. Acting together, we can take on the corporate elites who run the state and control both parties in Washington.
On April 29, young activists from the PSL have initiated the rally at the State Capitol in Jefferson City. They are receiving support from LGBTQ, as well as other social justice organizations, for the united fightback against this draconian policy. What is needed now is the only thing that has ever won reforms from this system: struggle. Join the rally April 29 in Jefferson City, State Capitol, north side, 201 W. Capitol Ave., Saturday, April 29, 2:00 p.m.! To endorse and help build, call 417-501-6779.