This week, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo instated a temporary hold on Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s emergency rule to restrict gender-affirming care for transgender people in Missouri.
This is the second time Judge Ribaudo has placed a block on the emergency rule. The first temporary ban was for five days, giving Bailey time to submit the required briefs for Judge Ribaudo to read according to the court docket uploaded on Case.net.
The emergency ruling, filed by Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey, seeks to limit trans and gender-nonconforming people’s access to medical care. Under this rule, transgender people will be required to receive 18 months of talk therapy before they can access gender-affirming care according to the Missouri State Attorney General’s website.
The emergency rule alleges people are being given direct access to gender-affirming care in order to make “life-altering interventions” — such as puberty blockers or gender affirmation surgery — without any form of talk therapy.
In response to the emergency ruling, Lambda Legal, the ACLU of Missouri and Bryan Cave Leighton PaisnerLLP filed a petition to temporarily halt the rule. The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri has also partnered with plaintiffs in filing a lawsuit against Bailey.
The lawsuit states that Bailey is spreading misleading information regarding gender-affirming care and that his claim of an emergency ruling being necessary is unfounded according to the ACLU of Missouri.
Gillian Wilcox, the Deputy Director of litigation at the ACLU of Missouri stated that, “The Attorney General’s dangerous and unlawful twisting of Missouri’s consumer protection laws corrupt our health care system by inserting the government into the medical decisions of people and their doctors in order to play politics at the expense of life-saving medical care,”
Judge Ribaudo stated that transgendered Missourians currently being represented in a lawsuit would be “subjected to immediate and irreparable loss, damage or injury if the Attorney General is permitted to enforce the Emergency Rule and its broad, sweeping provisions implemented without further fact-finding or evidence.”
She also noted that patients “are at high risk of having their medical care interrupted for an unknown length of time; once the Rule goes into effect, they may lose access to medical care through their current providers until such time as the provider can come into compliance with the Rule’s requirements.”
For the moment, the restraining order means that most of the highly restrictive transgender laws recently introduced in Missouri cannot be implemented until May 11.
Follow Angela Rechtfertig on Twitter, @Wandering_rosee
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