The Missouri House on Tuesday approved in the first round a pair of bills limiting health care and sports participation for transgender youth in the state.

Members of the Republican-led House have approved legislation barring transgender children under 18 from accessing gender-affirming care like puberty blockers and hormone treatments. The vote was 106-45.

Two Republicans, Rep. Chris Sander, R-Lone Jack and House Leader Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, voted against the bill. The other negative votes came from the Democrats.

The House also gave initial approval to legislation that bars transgender athletes from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

This bill would apply to public and charter schools in grades six through 12. It would also apply to public and private post-secondary institutions. Members of the House voted 107 to 41 on this bill. Two of the noes came from Republicans Sander and Rep. Tony Lovasco, R-O’Fallon. A Democrat, Rep. Alan Gray, D-St. Louis, voted yes.

Both bills need another vote before moving on to the Missouri Senate.

Rep. Brad Hudson, R-Cape Fair, sponsor of gender-affirming health care legislation, said the bill was meant to protect children.

The legislation was changed to reflect some of the language included in the Senate version.

However, the biggest additions to the Senate, an expiration date for the ban on some of these treatments like hormones and puberty blockers, as well as allowing transgender children already receiving this treatment to continue receiving it, were not included.

Instead, Hudson said proponents are aiming for a six-month window to prevent trans children from going through these treatments.

“It’s a reasonable exit ramp for kids who are taking some of these drugs. We want to get rid of them as quickly as possible,” Hudson said.

Speaking after the Senate bill passed three weeks ago, Senate Speaker Caleb Rowden said he hoped the House would realize how difficult it was for the Senate to pass the bill. version he adopted.

Gender-affirming care includes medical and mental health treatment as well as social support.

The practice is supported by several medical associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.

Rep. Ashley Aune, D-Kansas City, one of several Democrats who spoke against the bill, read comments from a transgender child and his parents to the House. The child wrote that the care she received saves lives.

“It is the children you are legislating. She is a human being with feelings and a family that loves her dearly and wants her here and knows that without that care she might not be here,” Aune said. “You all hold a supermajority in this state. Stop knocking.

Republicans who have come out in support of the legislation have repeatedly used the age of trans children as a reason to delay transition-related health care.

“This bill is intended to protect children under the age of 18 and give them the freedom to choose their path once they turn 18,” said Rep. Cyndi Buchheit-Courtway, R. -Festus.

Rep. Jamie Johnson, D-Kansas City, spoke with families who have traveled to Jefferson City repeatedly to speak out against the legislation.

“I just want to say to the families who are in this body, who will be impacted by this legislation, I’m so proud of your children for coming here to fight for their existence and their right to exist in this state,” he said. Johnson said. .

House members spent more than two hours debating legislation banning transition-related health care. Members had less than 30 minutes to debate the bill banning transgender athletes from competing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

Similar to the other House bill, the legislation does not contain the four-year expiry date that is included in the Senate version.

Rep. Jamie Burger, R-Benton, who sponsored the bill, said it was the right thing to do to address fairness in sport.

The Missouri State High School Activities Association already has guidelines for sports participation for transgender athletes, as does the NCAA for college sports.

Shortly after the House adjourned after voting to approve the two bills on the first ballot, members of the House General Laws Committee met to hear testimony on Senate bills dealing with same subjects. We do not know when the whole House will consider these bills.

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