Transgender laws: Alabama parents file challenge

MONTGOMERY, ALA. —
Parents of transgender teens filed a lawsuit Tuesday in an attempt to strike down an Alabama law that makes it a crime for doctors to treat trans people under 19 with puberty blockers or hormones to help affirm their gender identity.

The new lawsuit was filed in federal court in Montgomery after two previous lawsuits were withdrawn. He is challenging the Alabama law, which is due to take effect May 8, as an unconstitutional intrusion on a person’s parental rights and medical care. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are four families with transgender children – ages 12 to 17 – two doctors and a member of the clergy. The families and doctors are only known by pseudonyms such as Zoe and Poe in the lawsuit.

“These caregivers and families want nothing more than to do what’s best for their children, but SB 184 is threatening them with criminal penalties for providing critically important care that often saves the lives of transgender youth,” said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBTQ rights group. The organization is one of several advocacy groups representing complainants.

The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act will make it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a medical provider to give puberty blockers or hormones to help with any gender transition. person under the age of 19. It also prohibits gender transition surgeries. , although doctors have told lawmakers that these are not performed on minors in Alabama.

During a campaign stop last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the law was needed to protect children.

“If the good Lord made you a boy at birth, then you are a boy. If the good Lord made you a girl at birth, then you are a girl,” she said. “We should especially focus our efforts on helping these young people grow into healthy adults, as God intended, rather than self-induced medical responders.”

The lawsuit outlined the law’s potential impact on children. A 15-year-old from Cullman County, known only as Allison in the lawsuit, had favored girls’ toys and clothes from a young age, according to the lawsuit, and recently started taking estrogen. Without the drug, Allison would develop masculine traits.

“With this support and care, Allison has grown into a confident and social teenager who is thriving in school. Without it, I’m afraid she’ll become withdrawn again, depressed, or worse. I only want the best for my daughter, like any parent. For the state to deprive me of my ability to provide this essential care and support is unthinkable,” his mother said in a statement released by the organizations representing the plaintiffs.

Similar measures have been pushed in other states, but Alabama’s law is the first to impose criminal penalties on doctors.

In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the state’s child welfare agency to investigate reports of childcare abuse confirming the gender of children. Arkansas lawmakers approved banning gender-affirming drugs for minors, but the law was enjoined by a court.

Ivey also signed a separate measure that requires students to use bathrooms that match their original birth certificates and prohibits teaching about gender and sexual identity in kindergarten through fifth grade.

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