Missouri Bans Childhood Gender Procedures, Trans Sports Participation

In a move emblematic of a growing trend across red states, Missouri lawmakers have decisively passed legislation reinforcing the state’s commitment to protecting minors and ensuring fair competition in sports. The legislation, Senate Bills 49 and 39, respectively, ban gender reassignment procedures, puberty blockers, and hormones for minors and bar biological males from competing in female sports.

Senate Bill 49, the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act,” explicitly prohibits healthcare providers from performing gender transition surgeries or prescribing gender-linked hormones or puberty-blocking drugs to minors. The bill has been hailed as a necessary safeguard by its proponents, who believe it will prevent children from making potentially irreversible decisions about their bodies.

Introduced by State Sen. Mike Moon (R), the bill’s objective is to protect minors from making life-altering decisions they may regret later. As State Rep. Brad Hudson (R) articulated, “When you have kids being surgically and or chemically altered for life for no good reason, yes, it’s time for the government to get involved.”

SB39, introduced by State Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder (R), aims to ensure fairness in athletics by banning males from participating in female sports in all educational institutions, from elementary to post-secondary schools. This bill not only defends the rights of biological females but also allows female students to compete in male competitions if no female competitions are available, ensuring equitable opportunities for all students.

Despite these justifiable measures, the Missouri chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) predictably took issue with the bills. They characterized the legislation as an attempt to “erase transness from Missouri.” It is a baseless claim, considering the bills seek to safeguard children’s health and ensure fair competition in sports.

Gov. Mike Parson (R) is expected to sign both bills, which were passed mainly along party lines. His commitment to upholding the measures is evident, as he told local media, “We’re not going to walk away from this building” without passing the measures.

These bills represent a significant stride in addressing the growing controversy surrounding gender issues, particularly the concern over the morality and ethical implications of medical interventions for minors who identify as transgender. As the U.S. bishops’ doctrine committee has highlighted, surgical, chemical, or other interventions to exchange a person’s biological characteristics are “not morally justified.”

Missouri’s lawmakers have shown a solid commitment to protecting their young constituents and preserving the integrity of athletic competition. As the debate surrounding gender issues continues to take center stage in national politics, other states may look to Missouri as a model for safeguarding their youth and ensuring fair play in sports.

These bills, set to go into effect on August 28, 2023, are a testament to Missouri’s commitment to the welfare of its young citizens and the fairness of its athletic competitions, setting a precedent other states may soon follow.

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