Alabama Transgender Law: Alabama has become the first state to outlaw the use of hormones and puberty blockers to treat transgender people under the age of 19.
Legislators in this state also enacted a bill forcing pupils to use toilets that match their sex at birth and restricting discussion of gender and sexual identity in the lower grades, similar to some other Republican-led states. Critics have slammed the prohibition on topics like the “Don’t Say Gay” regulation.
The two GOP laws were signed into law by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday, a day after the Alabama Legislature passed them. On Monday, advocacy organizations filed a lawsuit contesting the medicine restriction.
Republicans contend that the laws are necessary to protect children and that decisions about gender-affirming drugs should be made when they are adults.
Politicians, according to critics, are interfering with medical decisions that should be made by families and their doctors. The two bills have been dubbed “the single most anti-transgender legislative package in history” by Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act
The “Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” makes it illegal to prescribe or provide puberty blockers or hormone treatment to anybody under the age of 19 “for the purpose of seeking to alter or affirm the minor’s sense of his or her gender or sex.”
Violation of the legislation is now a Class C felony, meaning doctors who prescribe or deliver such drugs might face up to ten years in jail.
The rule, which takes effect on May 8 unless the courts intervene, also prohibits surgery aimed at changing a person’s gender identity, but experts say such procedures are rarely performed on youngsters.
Alabama’s law goes further than similar restrictions passed in other states. Arkansas was the first state to establish a law prohibiting the use of gender-affirming medications, although it did not include any criminal sanctions.
Before it could take effect, a federal judge stopped the Arkansas statute. Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has asked the state’s Department of Family and Protective Services to look into claims of child abuse among youngsters under such care.
Alabama Transgender Law Criticism
Doctors, families, and advocacy groups allege that politicians are interfering in decisions that should be made by families and medical teams. Medical professionals, Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration, the US Department of Justice, and trans youth’s families have all slammed the measures.
Doctors argue that the Alabama law contradicts peer-reviewed science and criminalizes routine medical care. Minors with gender dysphoria who do not receive appropriate medical care, according to specialists, are at a significantly higher risk of suicide and serious depression.
Justice Department Filed a Lawsuit against Alabama Transgender Bill
The US Department of Justice is challenging Alabama legislation that makes it illegal for doctors to use puberty-blockers and hormones to affirm the gender identification of transgender people under the age of 19.
On Friday, the Justice Department filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit opposing the law and attempting to prevent it from taking effect on May 8.
The law, according to the Justice Department, discriminates against minors by denying them access to medically essential treatment.
Republicans in Alabama who favor the law argue that it is necessary to protect children.
The US Justice Department has joined an effort to overturn a new Alabama law that makes it illegal to offer certain types of medical care to transgender children.
The federal government said in a court filing on Friday that the prohibition is discriminatory and violates the equal protection section of the US constitution’s 14th amendment.
According to the lawsuit in federal district court in Huntsville, Alabama Senate Bill 184 “denies vital medical care to children based purely on who they are.”
In addition to calling for the statute to be declared illegal, Justice Department lawyers requested an injunction to prevent it from taking effect.
SB 184 was passed by Alabama lawmakers earlier this month. It makes it illegal for anyone to “engage in or induce” so-called gender-affirming medical treatments, such as puberty blockers, for transgender people aged 18 or younger.
Medical practitioners and parents who break the law might face up to ten years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
The US Justice Department claims that the statute is unlawful since non-transgender minors have legal access to the same or equivalent procedures as transgender children, implying that only transgender children are prohibited.
The justice department claimed that “SB 184 would force parents of transgender adolescents, medical providers, and others to choose between foregoing medically essential operations and treatments or… criminal punishment.”
“SB 184 discriminates on the basis of sex and transgender status, which is a violation of the equal protection provision.”
Despite medical professionals advising gender-affirming care for persons who identify as transgender, meaning a gender other than the one assigned at birth, the Alabama law is part of a surge of restrictions directed against transgender youth in Republican-led states.
The family of two transgender teenagers, as well as two doctors, have filed a federal lawsuit against Alabama, requesting that SB 184 be repealed. The US Justice Department’s filing simply serves as notice that the federal government is backing the plaintiffs.
The office of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey declared in a statement to the news website AL.com that the state was “prepared to defend… our beliefs and this legislation.”
The state attorney general, Steve Marshall, was also cited on the site as claiming that Joe Biden’s administration “had decided to place leftist politics over Alabama’s children.“
Marshall continued, “Both science and common sense are on Alabama’s side.” “This fight to protect our children will be won.”
Counselors, teachers, principals, and other administrators in public and private schools are required by law to inform parents if a child reports that they believe they are transgender. It also makes it illegal for teachers to encourage pupils to keep information from their parents.