Missouri is the latest state to introduce legislation prohibiting gender transition procedures on minors, joining more than 35 states currently considering variations of the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act.
To date, Arkansas is the only state to have passed such legislation. On April 6, 2021, Arkansas enacted House Bill 1570 over the governor’s veto, banning the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries for the purpose of gender transition on individuals under 18.
Missouri’s House Bill No. 2649, introduced by Rep. Suzie Pollock of the state’s 123rd district, largely mirrors Arkansas’ legislation. “It makes it illegal to practice giving children cross-sex hormones, puberty blockers, or any kind of surgery” that would alter their young bodies for life, Pollock said on the Family Research Council’s (FRC) “Washington Watch” broadcast. “I really want to get that in law and protect children because who knows where things can progress to and what they’ll be trying next?”
Like Arkansas’ legislation, Missouri’s bill bans the use of public funds or insurance coverage mandates for any gender-transitioning procedures, except for treatment of minors diagnosed with physiological intersex disorder. The proposed bill also provides legal recourse for minors who have been permanently disfigured or sterilized by such medical or surgical procedures.
FRC reports that last year 21 states introduced bills banning gender transition procedures on minors. This year, 17 states have already introduced similar legislation.
The SAFE Act legislation sweeping the country from North Carolina to Utah comes in the wake of the American Psychological Association’s push for radical medical treatments for gender dysphoria, which they define as “psychological distress that results from incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity.”
According to FRC, the number of gender reassignment clinics in the United States has increased from one in 2007 to 50 as of last year. The nonprofit family public policy advocacy organization also cites reporting by Abigail Shrier, an author and writer for the Wall Street Journal, that most Western countries have seen a 1,000% to 5,000% increase in teenage females seeking treatment from gender clinics and psychologists—many of whom recommend that these girls socially and physically transition through hormones and sometimes surgery.