Citing “very serious side effects” and a “lack of reliable scientific evidence for their efficacy and safety,” Missouri is clamping down on chemical and surgical gender transition interventions for both children and adults.

The move comes as public schools across the nation push children toward transgenderism with organized efforts and intentional tactics that leave children’s parents and legal guardians in the dark.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s emergency order, which took effect April 27 and will expire Feb. 6, 2024, states that it is “an unfair, deceptive, fraudulent, or otherwise unlawful practice” to provide such interventions unless several restrictive conditions are met. 

The conditions include obtaining informed consent from the patient that acknowledges a lengthy list of known risks; ensuring that the patient has “exhibited a medically documented, long-lasting, persistent and intense pattern of gender dysphoria” for at least three years and received a full psychological assessment (totaling at least 15 hours over at least 18 months); and determining that any existing mental health comorbidities have been “treated and resolved.”

The order from Bailey, a Republican, notes that although psychotherapy (i.e., “talk therapy”) has been shown to be effective in resolving gender dysphoria, other interventions have “accelerated exponentially” in recent years.

The Missouri attorney general said these interventions include “life-altering pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormone therapy, and gender transition surgery—all of which pose very serious side effects,” often administered “contrary to safeguards established in scientific literature and by medical organizations.”

The order cites medical organizations that recently challenged these interventions, including Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare, which declared that there is a “lack of reliable scientific evidence concerning the efficacy and the safety” and that the risks “currently outweigh the possible benefits.”

Similarly, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently determined that “there is a lack of current evidence-based guidance for care of children and adolescents who identify as transgender, particularly regarding the benefits and harms of pubertal suppression, medical affirmation with hormone therapy, and surgical affirmation.”

Last June, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration released a report based on a robust review of medical evidence. The report concluded that “gender-affirming care” such as sex-reassignment surgery, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers “are not consistent with generally accepted professional medical standards and are experimental and investigational with the potential for harmful long-term effects.”

Secrecy in Schools

In another realm, however, radical gender ideology shows no regard for medical safeguards. Instead, today’s K-12 public schools push children toward transgenderism with organized efforts and intentional tactics—and in secret from children’s parents and legal guardians.

Students as young as kindergarten are targeted with classroom activities such as “The Genderbread Person” that expose them to a biology-denying worldview, planting seeds of deception in their innocent and impressionable hearts and minds.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed a bill into law in 2021 that he described as modernizing the state’s sex education standards. As a result, kindergarten through second-grade students have class time devoted to teachings about gender, gender identity, and gender stereotypes.

At a time when children should be developing their fine motor skills, learning letters and sounds, and practicing how to count, they instead are being peddled ideas counter to basic biological reality related to their bodies. To add insult to injury, this science-defying deception takes place in the government-funded and regulated academic institutions across our country that are tasked with effectively educating our future citizenry and workforce.

Once the seeds of these ideas are planted in children’s minds, any slight interest or questioning on their part is met by the school’s executing an immediate, orchestrated plan referred to as “gender-affirming care” to progress the child from initial thought to serious action. Children are encouraged enthusiastically to change their names, pronouns, and even clothing from their biological sex to the opposite sex.

But it doesn’t stop there. Puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating surgeries are not too far down the path for these students, whose inclinations are coaxed, encouraged, and relentlessly affirmed by school personnel, counselors, and even medical doctors.

Where are parents? Sadly, they are kept entirely in the dark by school secrecy efforts.

Orange County School District in North Carolina, Kansas City Public Schools in Kansas, Monroe School District in Washington,  Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, and Glendale Unified School District in California are just a few examples of the countless school systems with policies that keep the gender identity of students a secret from their parents.

Action in Other States

If or when parents become aware of the secrecy occurring at school, they are told that if they don’t unwaveringly affirm their child’s thinking and unquestionably advocate for any and all medical interventions—no matter how extreme—their child will commit suicide and they will be the cause.

It’s manipulative gaslighting at its worst. What’s more, children are pitted against their parents (who know and love them best) by adults who are in their life for only a nine-month school year or a few short years.

Thankfully, Missouri isn’t the only state putting the brakes on these radical “gender-affirming care” transition measures for children and teens.

As of April 15, nine states have passed laws banning puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transition surgery for anyone under 18. These include Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah. States that have passed laws with partial bans include Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, and West Virginia.

The past three months have been significant because as recently as Jan. 15, Florida was the sole state with a total ban and Arizona was the only other state to have any kind of ban (it was and remains partial).

As for other states, attempts in Arkansas and Alabama to ban gender-affirming care for anyone under 18 have been blocked by the courts thus far, but don’t count these states out. Oklahoma and South Carolina have not passed related laws, but their major hospitals have stopped providing gender transition interventions to minors.

Other states that may ban gender transition interventions in part or in full this legislative session are Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Freedom in Education

The successes to date have occurred in red states. Blue states, egged on by public schools’ leftist teachers unions, will continue propagandizing, promoting, and propelling children toward lifelong, irreversible harm, all in the name of “care.”

For example, Washington and Oregon have passed laws that give children as young as 15 access to so-called “gender-affirming care” without parental consent, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and irreversible mutilating surgeries.

With schools intently and secretly pushing kids on the transgender trajectory, parents need choices when it comes to their kids’ educational environment.

Our government-run, K-12 schools have become progressive training camps, and they must lose their monopoly power. Their radical ideology, which portrays parents as the enemy, is destructive to the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of children. 

Education freedom no longer can be a privilege. It must be a right for all Americans. The lives of children are at stake.