Monday, December 05, 2022

Restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender youth take effect in Alabama

An Alabama law that makes it a felony to provide gender-affirming medical treatment to transgender youth went into effect on Sunday, while a federal judge weighed in to propose a temporary moratorium on it Or not.

The law makes it punishable by up to 10 years in prison for providing puberty inhibitors, hormones and medical procedures to transgender youth under the age of 19.

Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill on April 8. A similar but far-reaching law in Arkansas was blocked by courts last year before it went into effect.

After a two-day hearing that ended on Friday, US District Judge Liles Burke gave no indication of when he would rule on a motion to temporarily halt enforcement of the ban, according to local media reports.

The lawsuit, brought by organizations including the Human Rights Campaign and GLBTQ legal advocates and defenders, argues that the ban would cause “immediate and irreparable” harm to plaintiffs and that the measure violates many of their constitutional rights.

The groups sued on behalf of the parents of four transgender youths from Alabama, two physicians and a minister. The US Justice Department became involved in the case, saying the Alabama law “violated the equal protection clause” of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

Mainstream medical and mental health professionals say gender-affirming care saves lives by reducing the already high risk of depression and suicide among trans youth.

According to medical experts, gender-reassignment surgery is extremely rare for people under the age of 18 and will only take place after years of treatment in cases where the patient’s desire is unwavering.

Transgender rights have emerged as a nail issue in the culture wars ahead of the November midterm congressional elections. Republican lawmakers have introduced hundreds of bills in state legislatures, most directed at trans youth.

Many Republican and conservative activists promote the laws as safeguards for the rights of children and parents. Opponents, including Democrats and LGBTQ organizations, say the law is harmful, unnecessary and will have dire consequences on already vulnerable populations.

According to a recent survey by The Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, 93% of transgender and non-binary youth said they are concerned about trans people “because of the state’s gender-affirming medical care.” Denial of access or local law.”

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