Two lawsuits have been filed in federal court which challenge an Alabama law that criminalizes gender-affirming care for trans minors.
The suits were filed on Monday by two families who allege that the law will be detrimental to the health of their transgender children. Joining the families in the lawsuit are two physicians who allege that the new law will prevent them from giving patients proper medical care.
“By signing SB 184 Governor Ivey has told kind, loving, and loyal Alabama families that they cannot stay here without denying their children the basic medical care they need,” said Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, one of the physician plaintiffs in the case, in a statement published by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “She has undermined the health and well-being of Alabama children and put doctors like me in the horrifying position of choosing between ignoring the medical needs of our patients or risk being sent to prison.”
The state’s governor, Kay Ivey, signed the law on Friday, along with a second bill that restricted LGBTQ+ content in the state’s primary schools. It is set to go into effect on May 8.
“I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl,” Ivey said in a statement made Friday, adding that children need protection “from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life.”
The bill is one of many across the country that limits the rights of trans individuals, particularly minors, and is the third which restricts their access to healthcare. However, it’s the first to criminalize the act of providing gender-affirming care to minors, after a similar bill in Arkansas was blocked by a federal court last year.
While supporters of the bill say that they are protecting children from harmful practices, opponents argue such bills further stigmatize trans minors while denying them the care they need.
“I know that I am a girl and I always have been,” said one 15-year-old whose family is among the plaintiffs. “I did not choose to experience bullying and discrimination because I am transgender. I chose to be proud of who I am.”
In the statement, which was posted online by both Lambda Legal and the ACLU – two of the organizations which are representing the plaintiffs – the teen added, “The possibility of losing access to my medical care because of this law causes me deep anxiety. I would not feel like myself anymore if this lifesaving medication was criminalized.”
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