Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a lawsuit against a healthcare company last week after it provided puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors without a mental health assessment, as required by state law before sex reassignments were banned.
On Aug. 28, Missouri’s Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act was implemented as law in the state.
After the law was passed, Bailey’s office sent a letter to providers across Missouri, warning them to stop providing experimental treatment on treatment immediately.
The recipients of the letter included Washington University in St. Louis; Children’s Mercy in Kansas City; Planned Parenthood in Great Plains and St. Louis; AIDS Project of the Ozarks in Springfield, and Southampton Healthcare in St. Louis.
The letter touched on SAFE Act’s ban on puberty blockers or other treatments to any new patients, and punishments such as doctors or professionals losing their license to practice revoked.
Nearly three weeks after the letter went out, the DA’s office filed a lawsuit against Southampton Healthcare after the company allegedly provided gender transition interventions to minors without providing comprehensive mental health assessments, as required by state law before SAFE became effective.
“As long as I’m Attorney General, I will fight to ensure that Missouri is the safest state in the nation for children,” said Attorney General Bailey. “These providers failed Missouri’s children when they rejected even a diluted medical standard and subjected them to irreversible procedures. My office is not standing for it.”
Bailey notes in the lawsuit that Southampton’s own witnesses “acknowledged in open court that providing these [gender transition] interventions without a comprehensive mental health assessment is contrary to the medical standard of care.” The Attorney General said the company’s witnesses, who supported gender transition interventions, agreed nobody receiving the interventions would receive one if they have not undergone “a comprehensive psychological evaluation.”
Despite that, the lawsuit claims, Southampton did not provide the evaluations.
Instead, the lawsuit continued, Southampton did not adopt and consistently apply a policy ensuring each patient received an assessment before undergoing an intervention related to sex reassignments.
“Providing gender transition interventions without first ensuring that each minor patient in Missouri receives a comprehensive mental health assessment is ‘unethical, oppressive, [and] unscrupulous’ under Missouri regulations enacted pursuant to Missouri law,” Bailey asserts. “Providing gender transition interventions without first ensuring that each minor patient in Missouri receives a comprehensive mental health assessment ‘[p]resents a risk of, or causes, substantial injury to consumers’ under Missouri regulations enacted pursuant to Missouri law.”
Bailey’s office said the Attorney General is seeking full restitution for any victims who underwent gender transition procedures without a mental health assessment, a penalty of $1,000 for each violation and an injunction to stop future violations.