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Hundreds gather at Mizzou to protest MU Health Care decision ending some gender-affirming care for minors

Two people stand outside Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri campus. They hold signs that read "Trans Kid Suicide? = MU Homicide" and "Doctors Do Not Discriminate."
Evan Holden
Layla Biby (right) and Marlie W. (left) attended the "Keep Hate Out Of Health Care" rally on the University of Missouri campus to protest MU Healthcare's decision to end some gender-affirming care for minors.

Several hundred people gathered last Friday for the “Keep Hate Out of Health Care'' rally at the University of Missouri.

The rally was organized by the Mizzou chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America in response to a MU Health Care decision earlier this month, which ended some gender-affirming care for minors.

While Missouri law allows for people already receiving gender-affirming care to continue, MU Health Care ended all cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers for minors citing “significant legal liability.”

Mel Tully, the chair of Mizzou YDSA, said it was important that the Mizzou and Columbia communities come together against this decision.

“Even if the effect maybe only might be healthcare coverage for a couple of dozen kids, I feel like it is fundamentally about - what does this university care about? Does it care about its students? Does it care about the community that it has such a large effect on,” Tully said. 

The march began and ended at Jesse Hall – with a stop at City Hall along the way, and participants’ chants of “M-I-Z, Z-O-U. When trans kids die, the blood’s on you” could be heard throughout downtown Columbia.

Nearly a dozen people – including parents, legislators and transgender youth – shared their own experiences with gender-affirming care.

Student Layla Biby was at the protest.

“Though I don’t know that many people that are transgender. I still know it affects tons and tons of people. And doing something is better than nothing,” Biby said.

The Washington University Transgender Center in St. Louis also ended some gender-affirming care for minors last week – citing the same legal liability.

Evan is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Missouri.
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