This Court Just Blocked an Attempt to Stop Enforcement of Missouri’s Ban Against Genital Mutilation on Minors

After Governor Mike Parson of Missouri in June signed bills into law that barred genital mutilation and puberty blockers for minors and prevented boys from competing on girls’ sports teams, opponents went to court to block enforcement.

“We support everyone’s right to his or her own pursuit of happiness; however, we must protect children from making life-altering decisions that they could come to regret in adulthood once they have physically and emotionally matured,” Gov. Parson said in a statement after he signed the bills.

Parents who sued on behalf of their minor children asked the court for a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement. The petitioners claimed the bans violated their children’s constitutional rights.

The court denied the motion for a preliminary injunction last Friday. The court contended that the petitioners’ the constitutional challenges were not up to par.

“The Court further finds that Petitioners have not clearly shown a sufficient probability of success on the merits to justify the grant of a preliminary injunction,” Judge Steven Ohmer wrote (PDF). “Petitioners have not clearly shown a sufficient threat of irreparable injury absent injunctive relief. The balance between the harm to petitioners and injury to others does not clearly weigh in favor of granting a preliminary injunction.”

The new law went into effect on Monday, August 28.

By Jarek TuszyńskiOwn work, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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