The lawsuit claims that the Missouri state Attorney General’s Office is demanding data that need not be shared with politicians.
A Kansas City hospital has filed a lawsuit against Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, claiming that the state’s requests for data on gender-affirming care is “burdensome.”
According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit was filed on Friday in a Jackson County court.
In their complaint, attorneys for Children’s Mercy Hospital asked a judge to block Bailey’s 54 investigative demands for records and testimony, despite the hospital facing no allegations of misconduct.
Bailey, notes The Associated Press, has asked the hospital to provide records on any prescriptions issued for hormone blockers, as well as surgeries ordered for transgender patients.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is also purportedly seeking information on when, if ever, Children’s Mercy Hospital has reported child abuse.
Madeline Sieren, a spokesperson for Bailey, challenged the hospital’s assertion that its gender-affirming treatments are evidence-based. Speaking to the media, Sieren said that Children’s Mercy Hospital has refused to provide “even a single document” to explain or support its practices.
“That is very concerning,” Sieren said. “We look forward to prevailing in this request for information and learning what is truly going on with Children’s Mercy in connection with gender transition issues.”
The Associated Press reports that Bailey began probing different hospitals earlier this year.
In February, for instance, the Republican attorney general said that he would investigate the Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital after an employee said that staff were providing gender-affirming care without patients’ informed consent.
Bailey then expanded his investigation to cover other health care providers across the state.
Missouri also recently announced a proposed emergency rule that will restrict how, when, and where transgender children—and adults—can receive drugs, hormones, or surgeries for the general purpose of “transitioning gender.”
Children’s Mercy Hospital claims that the state’s recent moves to curtail gender-affirming care, as well as its requests for data, are “poorly disguised interrogatories” that have more to do with politics than practical monitoring.
While attorneys for the hospital have acknowledge that Bailey has the authority to investigate deceptive business practices, Children’s Mercy claims that this authority has limits—and that the demand letter sent to the hospital “far exceeds those limits.”
According to Children’s Mercy and its attorneys, hospitals are not regulated under deceptive advertising laws, and the hospital cannot, “in good faith, attempt to comply.”
The Kansas City Star notes that Planned Parenthood filed its own lawsuit against Bailey in March, calling his office’s investigations into gender-affirming care a “sham,” “politically motivated,” and generally transphobic.