Parents challenge the law that prohibits the treatment of trans children

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Parents of transgender teens filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to overturn an Alabama law that makes it a crime for doctors to treat trans people under the age of 19 with puberty blockers or hormones to help affirm your gender identity.

The new lawsuit was filed in Montgomery federal court after two previous lawsuits were dropped. He challenges the Alabama law, which takes effect May 8, as an unconstitutional intrusion on a person’s parental rights and health 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 known only by aliases like Zoe and Poe in the lawsuit.

“These care providers and their families want nothing more than to do what is best for their children, yet SB 184 threatens 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 plaintiffs.

The Compassion and Protection for Vulnerable Children Act will make it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a medical provider to administer puberty blockers or hormones to assist in the gender transition of anyone under the age of 19. It also prohibits gender transition surgeries. , although doctors told lawmakers that they are not performed on minors in Alabama.

At a campaign stop last week, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the law is necessary 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,” he said. “We should especially focus our efforts on helping these young people become the healthy adults God intended them to be, rather than self-induced medical interveners.”

The lawsuit outlined the potential impact of the law on children. A 15-year-old girl from Cullman County, known only as Allison in the lawsuit, had preferred girls’ toys and clothes since she was a little girl, the suit alleges, and recently began taking estrogen. Without the medication, Allison would develop masculine traits.

“With that support and attention, Allison has grown into a confident and outgoing teenager who thrives in school. Without her, I am terrified that I will return to being withdrawn, depressed, or even worse. I just want the best for my daughter, like any parent. For the state to take away my ability to provide that essential care and support is unthinkable,” her 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 establish criminal penalties for physicians.

In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered the state’s child welfare agency to investigate reports of gender-confirming child care abuse. Arkansas lawmakers passed a ban on gender-affirming drugs for minors, but that law has been court-ordered.

Ivey also signed a separate measure that requires students to use restrooms that align with their original birth certificate and bans gender and sexual identity instruction from kindergarten through fifth grade.

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