Judge blocks Alabama restrictions on certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth

Judge blocks Alabama restrictions on certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth

In granting the injunction sought by the Justice Department and private prosecutors late Friday night, Judge Liles Burke said there was a significant likelihood that the court would find the legal restrictions on providing interim drugs, such as puberty blockers, to minors unconstitutional.

Other parts of the law — including the ban on sex-changing surgery on minors and its regulations for school officials — remain in effect.

“Defendants present no credible evidence that transition drugs are ‘experimental,'” wrote Liles, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. “While the defendants present some evidence that switching medications pose certain risks, the unchallenged evidence is that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse switching medications as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors.”

The DOJ is filing a challenge to Alabama statute making it a crime to provide gender-affirming health care to minors
Those challenging the law included minors, parents and doctors who filed suits last month, arguing that the law violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protections clause. The Justice Department was allowed to intervene in the case to challenge Alabama’s restrictions as well.

The judge said that “parent plaintiffs have a fundamental right to direct their children’s medical care,” noting they were likely to succeed in their due process claim. The judge also said the minors were likely to succeed in their claim for equal protection and that Alabama’s “put forward justifications” for the law were “hypothetical and not overly convincing.”

Alabama’s law, dubbed the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, was enacted last month and went into effect last week. Under the law, medical professionals who provide gender-affirming care to anyone under the age of 19 can face up to 10 years in prison.

The law also prohibits school nurses, counselors, teachers, principals and other school officials from attempting to “encourage or coerce” a minor to withhold from his or her parents the “fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with that.” the gender of the minor” or to withhold this information from the parents.

The Alabama move is part of a larger movement by Republican-led states to restrict the lives of transgender youth in the United States. Despite legal pushes to end this type of treatment, gender-affirming care is a recommended practice for people who identify as transgender, meaning that they identify with a gender different from their birth-assigned or gender-identified gender distinguishes expression that does not necessarily conform to society’s traditional ideas about gender.

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