Montgomery, Ala. ( Associated Press) — A federal judge will hear arguments Thursday challenging Alabama’s plan to outlaw the use of gender-affirming drugs to treat transgender youth.
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US District Judge Lyles Burke has scheduled a hearing on the request to block enforcement of the law while it is challenged in court. The law, which would otherwise take effect on Sunday, gives medical providers up to 10 years in prison for giving puberty inhibitors and hormones to help people under 19 confirm their gender identity.
Four families with transgender children, two doctors and one member of the clergy filed the lawsuit challenging the law as an unconstitutional violation of rights to equal protection and freedom of expression and intrusion into parental decisions. The US Justice Department has asked to be involved in the case.
“No other state has ever passed a law like the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, and for good reason. The act is an unprecedented step in taking away the opportunity for parents to receive well-established medical care for their children.” Raises,” plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote in the motion seeking a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order against the law.
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The state is asking Burke to allow the law to take effect.
“If the court gets into the act, Alabama children face irreparable harm from unproven, sterilizing, and permanently impoverished medical interventions pushed by ideological interest groups,” state attorneys wrote.