The Missouri House has approved a bill that, if passed into law, will ban physicians and health care professionals employed by state and local governments, from providing gender-affirming health care to minors.
The "Missouri Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act" would also ban state or locally-run facilities from administering gender-affirming medical treatments, like puberty blockers or hormone therapies.
The bill says, “Any health care provider referring for or providing gender transition procedures for minors may be subject to discipline by his or her professional licensing board for unprofessional conduct.”
The SAFE Act would also ban health benefit plans or insurers from providing reimbursement for transition procedures for anyone under the age of 18.
Lawmakers who have supported bills like the SAFE Act have said people don’t reach brain maturity until they are in their 20s.
However, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Associationfound that gender-affirming care can reduce the risk of depression and suicide among people between the ages of 13 and 20.