The Jackson County prosecutor supports the Kansas City Council in its decision not to enforce an impending state ban on transgender treatments for minors – and yet hasn’t closed the door to prosecuting such cases herself.
Even after the Missouri Legislature this week passed limited four-year restrictions on new cross-sex treatments and surgeries for those 17 and under, the Kansas City Council Thursday approved a resolution 11-1 not to enforce the law and to declare the city a “safe haven for gender-affirming healthcare.”
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker immediately released a statement supporting the council’s action:
“I firmly support the Kansas City Council’s action today,” her statement read. “All forms of government should firmly stand against discrimination. My office does. We will continue to take all legal and appropriate steps under Missouri law to protect trans people — who are increasingly targeted for violence and exploitation. Rather than focusing on (criminalizing) trans individuals, the criminal justice system should seek to protect them. Each person needs to know they can seek health care for their needs and that those needs will be addressed.”
However, a spokesman for Baker told The Heartlander the office has never taken a position against enforcing state laws – and that her written statement doesn’t mean her office will defy the law banning trans treatments for minors or will refuse to prosecute cases under it if it’s signed, as expected, by Gov. Mike Parson.
The spokesman said Baker’s statement was “trying to be supportive of our city and actions they took.”
Asked if that means a doctor at a hospital performing transgender treatments on children will be prosecuted by Baker’s office, the spokesman declined to answer a hypothetical question – but said “we will look at each case as it comes to us.”
It’s not entirely clear where that leaves healthcare workers at Children’s Mercy Hospital – which, the Heartlander reported in December, has been offering transition treatments to “gender questioning” children and adolescents, perhaps even to those as young as 2.
Baker’s statement concludes with a link to her office’s form for “Citizen Complaints about Police Misconduct, Excessive Force.”
“Everyone should be encouraged to report to police harm by others or harassment. But you can also report to our office at this link,” the statement reads.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey tweeted his opposition to the Kansas City Council’s decision to nullify the impending state ban on trans treatments for kids:
“The City Council of Kansas City has decided to jeopardize the safety of Missouri’s children in favor of experimental, ideologically-driven quackery disguised as public policy. I will never stand down in my fight to protect children across the state from the capricious whims of the woke left.”
The Heartlander asked Bailey’s office if Kansas City’s action nullifying a state law is even legal, and what the AG may do if he determines it isn’t.
“We are examining all legal options as we weigh how best to protect Missouri’s children,” Bailey’s spokesperson wrote in an email to The Heartlander on Friday.