Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey ended his emergency rule on gender-affirming care on Tuesday, less than a week after the state lawmakers sent a ban on minors starting treatment to the governor’s desk.
Late in April, the ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit to stop Bailey’s emergency rule. The case said that the attorney general didn’t have the right to use the state’s consumer protection law to block access to puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery to change a person’s gender.
A judge put the rules on hold until July. At that time, there will be a hearing.
Robert Fischer, the head of communications for the LGBTQ+ group PROMO, said that the lawsuit “gave the community hope when there was a lot of uncertainty.”
Adults would have been touched by the now-canceled emergency order, which advocates told The Independent caused fear in the LGBTQ+ community. When some people heard about the emergency order, they started making plans to leave the state.
Fischer said that the emergency rule hurt Missourians who are transgender and the parents of transgender children.
The tweet below verifies the news:
“The Attorney General’s emergency rule, along with the whole legislative session this year, caused people to talk about whether they should stay in Missouri,” he said. “Those are hard to ignore, especially now that trans people in Missouri have seen how mean our state government is.”
A representative for the Missouri Secretary of State’s office said that he got the papers Tuesday around 4 p.m. JoDonn Chaney said that the attorney general did not say why the order was being revoked, and that the two offices had not talked before the letter was sent.
Bailey must start the process over if he wants his order, which would make it harder to get gender-affirming care.
Victory for Missourians?
Bailey said in a statement that the emergency rule was made to give state lawmakers time to ban gender-affirming care.
“We were in the middle until and unless the General Assembly chose to do something about this problem. “That gap has now been filled by a law passed by the General Assembly,” his statement says. “I’m glad I brought attention to the fact that these procedures are experimental, and I’ll keep doing everything I can to make Missouri the safest state in the country for children.”
Rep. Brad Hudson, R-Cape Fair, said at a press conference that he had talked to the Attorney General’s office about the problem of gender-affirming care. Hudson is the sponsor of a bill to ban gender-affirming care and the House carrier for the Senate bill that needs the governor’s signature.
In a statement released Tuesday night, the ACLU of Missouri said that the firing was a “victory for Missourians’ right to bodily autonomy.”
“After weeks of embarrassing Missouri in front of the whole country, the Attorney General finally agrees with everyone else that his hasty attempt to take over other parts of government can’t stand up to scrutiny,” the statement says.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said in a statement that Bailey “grossly went beyond his legal power, and everyone knows it.
“So, it isn’t surprising he withdrew his unconstitutional rule knowing another embarrassing court defeat was inevitable,” she said. “Missourians deserve an attorney general worthy of the office, not one who persecutes innocent Missourians for political gain.”
Fischer said that getting rid of barriers to care is a “win” for transgender Missourians, even though the future is unclear.
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“From the conversations we’ve already had with community members and trans leadership, people are thrilled to see the attorney general terminate his rule especially since it targeted the entire trans community: children and adults. In our eyes, this is a win,” he said.
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