The state’s gender-affirming trans kid care prohibition has been partially blocked by an Alabama judge.
Under S.B. 184, the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, anyone who offers gender-affirming care to anyone under the age of 19 might be charged with a felony and face up to ten years in jail and a fine of $15,000 if convicted.
While the issue is being fought, Judge Liles Burke has suspended part of an Alabama law that prohibits prescriptions for gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones.
Other aspects of the law remained in effect, including the restriction on gender-affirming operations, which physicians claim are already prohibited.
Burke will also approve the measure requiring school officials to notify parents if a minor exposes their gender identity.
The ban took effect on May 8, and clinicians and families across the state scrambled to figure out how to best care for their young transgender patients before it went into force.
“It was a scurry,” paediatric endocrinologist Hussein Abdul-Latif told ABC News, “trying to get as many names as possible of the kids that we treat in our clinic and make sure that they do have refills called in before the law took effect.”
Before the prohibition went into force, Burke hosted a two-day hearing to hear from doctors, researchers, families, and others about the legislation and its implications.
Many people in attendance at the meeting said the bill is full of misconceptions concerning hormone therapy, puberty blockers, and gender reassignment surgery.
Physicians who talked to ABC News, as well as researchers at Yale University and the University of Texas Southwestern, disproved the assertions made in the law, including the fallacy that hormone and puberty blockers have detrimental health effects or induce infertility in trans kids.
In response to the trans care prohibition, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), along with other LGBTQ advocacy groups, is suing Gov. Kay Ivey and the state attorney general.
In a comment on the complaint, NCLR Senior Staff Attorney and Transgender Youth Project Director Asaf Orr said, “A state cannot penalise parents and doctors for following medical recommendations and delivering required medical treatments.”
“This is a patently unlawful bill that will cause significant stress and hardship to Alabama families while also costing Alabama taxpayers millions of dollars to defend,” Orr stated.
Ivey’s office did not reply to a request for comment from ABC News.