So much for  the party of small government

Erin’s Edit


By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

The Republican Party has long prided itself on the belief in “small government” and individual liberty. However, the recent move by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey to require 18 months of therapy before minors and adults can access gender-affirming health care is a clear overreach of government power and goes against core Republican principles. So much for the party of small government.

In March, Bailey announced an emergency order set to go into effect today, April 27, banning gender-affirming care for minors without at least 18 months of therapy prior. The rule requires the 18-month waiting period, 15-hour long therapy sessions and treatment of any mental illness before Missouri doctors can provide gender-affirming treatment to transgender children. Interestingly, the party that touted parental choice when it came to things such as masking in school and vaccines during a pandemic suddenly seems to think that parents aren’t capable of making medical decisions for their own children.

And if that wasn’t egregious enough, Bailey clarified earlier this month in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio that the rules would also apply to adults. Adults who are more than capable of making medical decisions for themselves. So much for the party of small government.

The government has no place dictating the medical decisions of individuals, especially when it comes to matters of personal identity and gender. Requiring adults, who are able to give their consent and make their own decisions, to undergo therapy before accessing gender-affirming care is a blatant disregard for individual liberty and a violation of the basic human right to healthcare.

Moreover, the therapy requirement is unnecessary and stigmatizing to transgender individuals. It implies that being transgender is a mental disorder that requires therapy to be treated. This is not only false but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes and discrimination against the transgender community.

The government’s role should be to ensure that all individuals have access to the healthcare they need, not to restrict their options or force them to undergo unnecessary and stigmatizing procedures. Bailey’s new regulation is a clear example of government overreach and goes against the very principles that the Republican Party claims to uphold.