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MU faculty discuss MU Health Care's decision to revoke gender-affirming care for minors

Two individuals stand outside of Jesse Hall one in a white tank top with a minimal design and sunglasses and the other is in a pink and blue tie-dye shirt and a black hat with pink weighting. They are watching a man in a blue shirt holding a piece of paper speak.
Bailey Stover
Columbia Missourian
Mizzou’s Young Democratic Socialists of America lead a “Keep hate out of Healthcare” march for transgender youth on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, through downtown Columbia.

COLUMBIA — The MU Faculty Council met Thursday afternoon to discuss a draft statement regarding MU Health Care's decision to no longer provide puberty blockers or hormones to transgender minors already receiving gender-affirming care.

MU Health Care made the decision to stop the treatment for established minors after Senate bill 49 went into effect on Aug. 28. The law prohibits patients under 18 years old from receiving gender-affirming care, including surgeries, puberty blockers or hormones.

However, there is a grandfather clause embedded in the law which states any minor patient who was receiving gender-affirming care in Missouri before Aug. 28 could still receive the care.

Despite the clause, MU Health Care says providing the treatment could lead to "significant legal liability."

MU spokesperson Christian Basi defended MU Health Care's decision Thursday, saying the law leaves medical experts with their hands tied. This didn't stop the MU Faculty Council from considering taking a stance of its own.

The MU Faculty Council originally drafted a statement in support of the grandfather clause. The council said it looked into making a statement after members of the council were approached by other faculty members with complaints and concerns.

In an original draft of the statement written by the council it says, "Specifically, we ask MU Health Care to reinstate care for minor transgender patients who were already receiving treatment prior to August 28th, 2023."

However, at the meeting, the MU Faculty Council decided to withdraw its statement completely, despite the council saying its intentions are to show support for faculty members in the transgender community.

Tom Warhover, co-chair of the MU Faculty Council, told KOMU 8 News that the decision to withdraw the statement was due to too many complications with legalities for the council to take a firm stance.

Warhover said despite the withdrawal, the council still supports and stands with faculty members in the transgender community. He said the council will reevaluate how it will show its support at its next meeting on Oct. 12.

To report an error or typo, email news@komu.com.

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