Missouri Attorney General Sues St. Louis Health Center Over Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender Youth

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has initiated legal action against a community health center located in St. Louis, alleging improper administration of gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

Bailey, in a statement issued on Sunday, declared, "As long as I'm Attorney General, I will fight to ensure that Missouri is the safest state in the nation for children."

The lawsuit targets the Southampton Community Health Center and is rooted in testimony provided during a hearing on a legal challenge against a new law. This law prohibits transgender youth from accessing puberty blockers or hormone therapy unless they had previously been prescribed such treatments. In August, a judge permitted the implementation of these restrictions.

However, it is noteworthy that Bailey's lawsuit does not accuse the Southampton Community Health Center, situated in The Hill neighborhood, of violating these newly established restrictions. Instead, Bailey contends that the center's failure to conduct a "comprehensive mental health assessment" before prescribing hormones or puberty blockers to minors constitutes a violation of the state's prohibition on deceptive advertising.

Bailey seeks a penalty of $1,000 for each instance of violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and demands that Southampton provide restitution to individuals he believes have suffered harm.

Southampton Community Health Care stands as one of the limited providers in Missouri still offering medical interventions like puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. In contrast, other facilities, including Washington University's, have ceased to provide such care, even to existing patients.

At the time of reporting, Southampton Community Health Care had not issued a comment in response to the lawsuit.