Missouri AG on Trans Clinic: ‘If Even One-Tenth of the Allegations Are True, They’re Abusing Children’
They aren’t the words most people would expect from a transgender clinic whistleblower: “I am a 42-year-old St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders.” But Jamie Reed’s deep, pro-trans ideology is one of the biggest reasons her explosive account about the St. Louis Children’s Hospital seems so credible to observers. “When this kind of whistleblower steps forward,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) told Tony Perkins, “you’ve got to take [the] allegations seriously.”
“I took the job,” Reed said, “because I support trans rights and firmly believed I would be able to provide good care for children … who are appropriate candidates to be receiving medical transition. Instead, I witnessed the Center cause permanent harm to many of the patients.” During her four years at the hospital’s Transgender Center, Reed’s dream of helping vulnerable kids was shattered and re-shattered by hundreds of stories of mistreatment, false diagnoses, tragic side effects, coercion, and patient regret.
In an affidavit, Reed shares her jarring testimony of hospital staff lying to the public and parents of the patients. “I witnessed staff at the center provide puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children without complete informed parental consent and without an appropriate or accurate assessment of the needs of the child,” Reed wrote. “I witnessed children experience shocking injuries from the medication the center prescribed.”
The stories so horrified Missouri leaders from Senator Josh Hawley (R) to AG Bailey that they demanded immediate action. “This is a person that self-describes as a progressive who’s married to a transgender man, who asked to be a case manager at a pediatric transgender clinic because she believes in transgender rights. So when she says this is going too far and harming children, you’ve got to take that seriously,” Bailey insisted on “Washington Watch.”
Missouri’s Republicans have taken the accusations seriously, launching a multi-agency investigation into what Bailey considers “child abuse.” Essentially, what Reed saw was the center administrating puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to almost any child who entered the clinic with gender dysphoria — with the ultimate goal of surgery. “And they’re doing that to the exclusion of psychology or psychiatry,” Bailey explained. “So in other words, kids walk in with a mental health disorder and instead of talking to them, the doctors and clinicians race to administer pills and surgery. And we know these have lifelong, deleterious consequences.”
“If even a 10th of the allegations in the affidavit are true, they’re abusing children,” he said. “And in fact, parents were coerced into making these decisions. And so, doctors would say things in front of the parent and the patient child like, ‘Do you want a live son or a dead daughter?’ I mean, think about that. They’re injecting a suicidal ideation into the conversation with the child. How can the child ever recover from that? … So we’re going to use every body of law necessary to protect kids and hold people accountable.”
The state’s investigation, which kicked off in mid-February, takes a broad approach, the AG explained. “There are different buckets of law that this fits into. There’s the professional licensure bucket — did anyone abuse the ethical and legal standards of their licensure? There’s the Medicaid fraud compliance statute that includes criminal liability. And then there’s the consumer protection statute. And so, each of those processes move at a different pace, but we anticipate forward progress, and we’re doing our best to expedite because we understand the importance of protecting children.”
And while Republicans have called on the center to stop taking on new patients — “Pencils down until we can get to the bottom of this” — the hospital’s leadership has thus far refused. “The clinics acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and admitted they’re going to do an internal [review],” Bailey said, “but declined on the moratorium. And at this point in time, a moratorium is the best safety measure we can put in place…”
Of course, the hospital has another problem, the state’s top law enforcer pointed out, which is that “individuals from the clinic testified to the Missouri General Assembly just a year ago that surgery was never recommended for anyone under 18. Well, that is directly contradicted by the whistleblower’s testimony. ... So there’s a lot going on here. And again, that’s why it’s imperative that we stand up and fight to protect the kids and put an end to this. And you’ve seen that trend across the globe — that other more progressive nations like England, Finland, France have stepped away from this. So I think the eyes of history are on us and will judge our behavior.”
At the end of the day, Family Research Council’s Dr. Jennifer Bauwens emphasizes, “It’s a mental health issue. It’s a spiritual issue. It’s an ideological issue with a lot of money [backing it].” But regardless, she insists, “the science is very clear.” “Look, every country that actually assesses the research with any kind of critical eye, they start backing away from it. Florida did the same thing.” But deep down, she believes, there’s a spiritual element that’s trying to lock our children into a very destructive and dangerous path.
“So, when we’re fighting this,” she warns, “we’re not fighting flesh and blood. We are in a spiritual war. … And we can’t separate the spiritual aspect of this from the physical obedience of standing up and saying something.”
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.