The Missouri Senate this week passed a scaled-back version of Sen. Mike Moon’s bill banning gender-affirming medical interventions on minors. SB 49, which passed Thursday on a party-line vote, would ban physicians from providing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors. The amended bill includes negotiated language that would allow transgender youth to continue their treatment if they started it before August 28, the effective date of the bill, and sunsets the puberty blocker and cross-sex hormone ban after four years.
This compromise caused the Democrats to end their overnight filibuster and allowed Republicans to take a vote without having to rely on a motion to proceed to the previous question (“PQ”) to end the filibuster. While the PQ is common in the House, it is referred to as the “nuclear option” in the Senate, as it is used rarely–and typically only at the end of session–because it effectively ends all further work in the chamber. The bill now goes to the House for debate.
The debate comes as the USCCB Committee on Doctrine has issued guidance to Catholic healthcare institutions on medical interventions for transgender individuals. The committee states that interventions involving the use of surgical or chemical techniques that aim to exchange the sex characteristics of a patient’s body “do not respect the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a body that is sexually differentiated.” As such, the committee states that Catholic health care services must not perform them.
The committee’s full statement can be read here.