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A Missouri Judge is Letting a State Ban on Pediatric Sex Changes Take Effect Today
Testimony of whistleblower Jamie Reed was essential
“Everyone told me this wasn’t possible,” Jamie Reed posted on Twitter/X Friday. “That everything has been lost the first round at the state level” whenever a state ban of pediatric transition for minors comes to court
Nevertheless, in no small part because of her own persistence, Judge Steven Ohmer of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in St. Louis has ordered that the law be allowed to go into effect today.
“Minors who began puberty blockers or hormones before Monday will be allowed to continue on those medications, but other minors won’t have access to those drugs,” ABC News explains. “Some adults will also lose access to gender-affirming care. Medicaid no longer will cover treatments for adults, and the state will not provide those surgeries to prisoners.”
Physicians who violate the law face having their licenses revoked and being sued by patients. The law makes it easier for former patients to sue, giving them 15 years to go to court and promising at least $500,000 in damages if they succeed.
In his decision, Ohmer wrote that the plaintiffs’ arguments for an injunction to overturn the law were “unpersuasive and not likely to succeed.”
The science and medical evidence is conflicting and unclear. Accordingly, the evidence raises more questions than answers. As a result, it has not clearly been shown with sufficient possibility of success on the merits to justify the grant of a preliminary injunction.
Predictably, gender activists demanding sex changes for children are losing their minds. Headlines and newsroom spin follow the activist narrative that ‘life-saving’, ‘gender affirming care’ is being denied to needy children in an act of literal genocide. Munchausen moms are threatening to leave the state and take their victims with them.
The same people were denouncing Reed as a horrible bigot just a few months ago — and the same newsrooms were amplifying their smears of her. Now that a judge has heard her testimony and found it credible, all of them would be well advised to adust to life in a post-Jamie Reed world: sorry not sorry, you have to leave the kids alone now.
“The way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to ‘do no harm,’” Reed said in February. “Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care.”
Within hours of her piece being published at The Free Press, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that “a full investigation into these shocking allegations” had been underway for two weeks, thanks to Reed’s sworn affidavit.
That investigation is ongoing. Missouri’s legislature passed the ban on pediatric transition in May and Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill into law in June. AG Bailey’s office also defended the legislation in Ohmer’s court.
When Reed posted last Monday that her testimony was scheduled to begin that morning, the mother of five children noted that she would have to miss a child’s homecoming on the first day of school.
“It’s not a small price to pay, missing the bus pick-up on the first day of school,” Reed wrote. “But I have to see this through. I do not know what the finish line looks like, and I am not sure I will know when I have arrived, but I must keep going.”
“This is a medical malpractice scandal that will blow up in people’s faces soon,” Reed told the Triggernometry podcast in April. “We know these drugs longitudinally are not healthy good drugs. They’re harsh, they’re harsh on the body.” Reed witnessed how the mental health of many children declined immediately when they were put on puberty blockers. Clinicians are “harming more patients than helping, just by the numbers,” she said.
At least one judge now agrees with her.
According to Reed, her testimony lasted about two and a half hours. Also testifying in defense of Missouri’s legislation were Dr. James Cator, Dr. Soen Roman, Caroline Ruth Miller, Dr. Stephen Lvine, Zoey Hawes, and Chloe Cole.
Plantiffs’ witnesses included Dr. Aron Janssen, Dr. Daniel Schumer, Dr. Johannan Olson-Kennedy, and the plaintiffs themselves.
“Petitioner has not shown probable success on its Constitutional challenges of the law,” Judge Ohmer said in his decision.
The Court further finds that Petitioners have not clearly shown a sufficient probability of success on the merits to justify the grant of a preliminary injunciton. Petitioners have not clearly shown a sufficient threat of irreparable injury absent injunctive relief. The balance between the harm to Petitioners and injury to others does not clearly weigh in favor of granting a preliminary injunction. Finally, a clear public interest would not be furthered by granting a preliminary injunction in this matter.
Last Wednesday, a New York Times investigation by Azeen Ghorayshi found virtually all of Reed’s story credible and confirmed many of her assertions. The “article represents the first attempt by a major left-of-center newspaper to corroborate Reed’s claims,” Leor Sapir responded at City Journal.
As Reed claimed, “adolescents with serious mental health problems were prescribed puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones when they should have received mental health support” at the Washington University clinic where Reed worked.
Despite the lingering issues in the piece — for example, Ghorayshi uncritically uses the contentious terms “transgender children” and “gender-affirming care” — Sapir sees hope that the American newsroom is finally beginning to break away from its unquestioning approach to the topic.
They are well behind their European colleagues, Sapir says.
If judged by Scandinavian standards, which are far more in line with the principles of evidence-based medicine, many or most patients at the St. Louis clinics were likely being given drugs they should not have been prescribed at all. While some may believe that current restrictions in Europe are about “trying everything again from scratch,” an equally plausible explanation is that this is the first step in a bigger retrenchment that will result in firm age restrictions. Time will tell.
Alongside Reed’s vindication we must credit the work of Alabama AG Steve Marshall. When plaintiffs tried to strike down Alabama state legislation that was similar to Missouri’s, they bet everything on WPATH’s nonexistent standards of care and dubious evidence-base.
As a result, during March Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Liles C. Burke ruled that the World Professional Associaiton for Transgender Health would have to answer a state subpoena and disclose “the process WPATH used to create, review, and adopt their position statements, treatment guidelines, and standards of care regarding transitioning treatments.”
On the basis of their response, a three-judge panel ruled last Tuesday that Alabama’s law against puberty blockers for children can also proceed. In defense of that prohibition, Alabama is arguing in the Eleventh Circuit that WPATH “standards” are shaped by ideology rather than evidence.
Earlier this month, AG Marshall joined 16 other Republican state attorneys general in a brief supporting Missouri’s ban. The language of the brief reflects the case Marshall’s office has built against WPATH in the Eleventh Circuit.
Invoking a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that allowed Tennessee’s similar law to take effect, the brief argues that the Constitution entrusts states with the “authority, in truth a responsibility, to look after the health and safety” of children. The brief argues that as European healthcare authorities have sharply restricted access to sex-modification procedures for minors in response to systematic reviews of the evidence, American medical organizations have continued to ignore the evidence and advocate for unfettered access to the procedures. “States like Missouri,” the brief argued, did not have to do the same and “could rationally take the side of caution before permitting irreversible medical treatments” on children.
When Judge Ohmer calls the plaintiffs’ case in Missouri “unpersuasive and not likely to succeed,” it is because the fearless testimony of Jamie Reed is so persuasive, while WPATH’s supposed 'standards of care’ have been exposed as utter quackery.
Child-sterilization cheerleaders have gotten away with this medical-scientific fraud for too long, but now the tide seems to be turning at last.
As Leor Sapir explained in a recent podcast with Wesley Yang, until now opponents of the ‘affirmation’ model have lost every injunction stage of a trial because the American courts were defaulting to an assumption that the clinicians pushing it were following the best science.
That is no longer the case. It is now “possible to criticize and raise questions about pediatric gender medicine today in a way that was not possible even six months ago. We have definitely turned a corner," Sapir says.
Is the tide actually turning? Reed finds that a “challenging question.”
“A year ago I was still working in a pediatric transgender center,” she says. “When I have asked that question of individuals who have been engaged in this issue much longer than I they express hope.”
Sometimes the people most responsible for epochal change are the last to see it.
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