(The Lion) — The Missouri Senate conducted a hearing Tuesday on a bill that would ban gender transition procedures for minors.
The Emerging Issues Committee heard arguments for and against SB 164, sponsored by Sen. Jill Carter, R-District 32, also called the “Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act.”
The SAFE Act would prohibit medical professionals from providing so-called gender affirming care to minors, unless the patient is born with a medically verifiable sexual development disorder. Doctors who violate the act could have their license revoked.
The bill also says anyone coercing a minor to undergo hormonal or surgical treatment for gender reassignment could be charged with child abuse.
“Vulnerable populations are being taken advantage of,” Carter told the committee, according to the Kansas City Star. “This is medically and morally appalling.”
Carter’s comments echoed the recent allegations that St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Transgender Center, which is also a part of Washington University, engaged in medical negligence.
Jamie Reed, a former employee of the center, alleged that patients were funneled through for profit, and some of them had profound regrets about their irreversible transitions. Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey responded with a multi-department investigation of the Transgender Center.
“We have received disturbing allegations that individuals at the Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital have been harming hundreds of children each year, including by using experimental drugs on them,” Bailey said in a press release. “We take this evidence seriously and are thoroughly investigating to make sure children are not harmed by individuals who may be more concerned with a radical social agenda than the health of children.”
Missouri’s U.S. Senator Josh Hawley also tweeted about Reed’s shocking tell-all, calling it a “sickening account of forced sterilization and child abuse.”
This is a sickening account of forced sterilization and child abuse. Happening in Missouri at an institution that receives federal taxpayer funds. Today my office is launching an investigation. Missouri children deserve to be protected https://t.co/oDvPaRC1qs
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 9, 2023
When The Lion invited a St. Louis Children’s Hospital representative to comment on Reed’s allegations, the representative promptly hung up.
State lawmakers vowed to address such abuse in December, when The Lion revealed that Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City was providing cross-sex treatment to patients as young as 2.
In response to the revelations, Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-District 19, told talk show host Pete Mundo he thought medically transitioning minors was “asinine,” and he hoped to prohibit it in the upcoming legislative session.
“I think we’re going to do everything we can to try to ban it in Missouri and stick up for kids as much as possible,” Rowden added.
State lawmakers have considered similar bills in recent years – including ones opposed to the hospital’s abortion practices – but none have made it across the finish line.
Sen. Mike Moon, R-District 29, who has sponsored some of the bills, told The Lion last week that the St. Louis gender clinic’s practices are “abhorrent” and that the legislature is “weak-spined” for not having done more to prevent the hospital’s questionable operations.
“Washington University has been a conveyor of child destruction,” Moon, who is the vice-chair of the Emerging Issues Committee, added during Tuesday’s hearing.
Sen. Greg Razer, D-District 7, who is currently Missouri’s only openly gay state senator, cast doubt on Reed’s testimony and recalled his personal experience as a suicidal teenager.
Scott Newgent, a gay and self-identified transgender man, testified in support of the bill, and sharply criticized Razer.
Newgent suffers from extreme health problems as a result of her gender reassignment surgeries, including a stress induced heart attack, sepsis, infections, organ damage, insomnia, hallucinations, and PTSD.
“You cannot transition your pain away, you can only add to it,” Newgent said. “My question is, ‘Why aren’t you [fighting for gays and lesbians]?’” Newgent asked, pointing to Razer. “They’re ok just the way they are. We don’t need to transition gay and lesbian youth.”
“Shame on you,” Newgent told Razer twice as his time expired, being warned he would be escorted out for one more outburst. “Shame on you,” Newgent said a third time, before leaving.
Transman @NotScottNewgent, who had arguably the most powerful interview in "What Is A Woman" gets kicked out of Missouri hearing on transing kids today after running over the allotted 2min time limit. "Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!" Newgent says while being escorted… https://t.co/vGk06BYmYT pic.twitter.com/2tH1md50TY
— Haley Kennington (@ladykennington) February 14, 2023
The committee must vote in favor of the SAFE Act before it can be read before the Senate. If it were to pass this session and become law, it would take effect Aug. 28.