Bill blocking trans medical care for minors working through Missouri Senate, opponents say they were blocked from testifying

Mo capitol
Mo capitol
Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 10:39 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The Missouri Senate is still tackling a bill that would ban transgender medical care such as puberty blockers for minors.

This comes right when Washington University’s Pediatric Transgender Center is under investigation after a whistleblower claimed the center harmed vulnerable patients.

The bill, dubbed the SAFE Act, is still in a Missouri Senate committee. It completely bans doctors from performing gender transition procedures for a minor, even with parental permission.

Rabbi Daniel Bogard has a child who is transgender and wanted to tell lawmakers what he thought of the bill.

“I have no idea the path our son is going to go down, but the idea that the government is limiting best practice, it is awful and it is scary and it feels like they are terrorizing us,” said Bogard.

Bogard of Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis said his son has not received any medical treatment, but he knows it’s at least a possibility down the road.

“We’re terrified that we’re going to be put in a situation that we’re going to have to choose between staying at home or following the best advice of our doctors,” said Bogard.

He made the 4-hour trek to Jefferson City to speak up.

“And they didn’t give us that opportunity,” said Bogard.

While he didn’t get to comment on the bill to ban doctors and institutions from performing gender transitions, former 2-term state Senator Bob Onder did get to speak.

“The radical gender idealogues are coming for our children,” Onder told News 4 Thursday.

Onder is a medical doctor in private practice and says he also does clinical research.

But he does not specialize in transgender care. He said he thinks minors should not receive trans medical treatments.

“Kids are not old enough to make these decisions that are going to have lifelong consequences for their health, for their fertility, for their psychological and psychiatric well-being,” said Onder.

Onder’s testimony clearly irked State Senator Greg Razer, a gay Democrat from Kansas City, who took issue with Onder’s claims on trans youth suicide.

“No, no, listen. I’ve had enough of this, I’m going to finish my statement,” said Razer in the hearing.

“Is this your impression or an ad hominem attack?” replied Onder.

“You’re listening to a senator who at 17 had a suicide note written and a gun in front of them,” said Razer.

The Missouri Senate secretary’s office says it’s ultimately up to the committee chair to end a hearing and cut off testimony.

News 4 called Emerging Issues Committee Chair Justin Brown, but the Senate had a short day Thursday and nobody picked up the phone.