Missouri sets up barriers for gender-affirming care

Bug Portaluppi, Social Media Manager

Andrew Bailey, the Missouri Attorney General, has recently declared an “emergency rule” that will create barriers to gender-affirming care in an attempt to “[treat] these other mental health problems before we race down the road of administration of experimental drugs.” It is set to go into effect from April 27, 2023 to February 6, 2024. Unlike previous legislation passed in other areas, this will impact both transgender minors and adults.

According to the emergency rule, individuals will not be allowed to receive gender affirming care if they have not received a minimum of 15 hourly sessions of therapy over the course of 18 months. 10 of said 15 sessions must also be with the same therapist. The person seeking care must have documented gender dysphoria for at least three years.

Furthermore, the patient must prove that they have received a full psychological or psychiatric assessment in order to prove that they are not mentally ill. A test that displays a positive result for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Clinical Depression, or a Social Media Addiction will prevent the patient from receiving access to gender affirming care. Additionally, healthcare workers must complete annual assessments in order to ensure that their patient is not experiencing gender dysphoria due to social contagion.

If an individual with one of these diagnoses does want to pursue care, they must prove that their condition has been resolved.