Amid the ongoing debate over what’s known as “gender-affirming care” for youth, many states have cracked down on various forms of gender transition for minors.
more than this half of the states In the US, bills have been passed or attempted to restrict the use of transgender treatment for minors.
As of November, Arkansas and Alabama are the only two states that have passed a law banning transgender treatment for minors outright, but they are on the legal edge following court rulings. Arizona, Tennessee, Texas and Florida have already announced partial bans. The restrictions in Texas and Florida were not legislated.
Provisions in some bills that have been passed or introduced include criminalizing medical professionals who treat transgender minors, punishing parents who assist minors in such treatment, limiting insurance or Medicaid coverage of the treatment, and indemnifying health care providers. includes. .
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The restrictions have led to various lawsuits challenging their constitutional validity.
In 2021, Arkansas lawmakers passed the first U.S. ban on doctors administering puberty-blocking drugs, sex hormones and transgender surgeries to minors, overriding Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto.
The law also prohibited health care providers from referring minor patients seeking such treatment to other providers and prohibited private insurance and Arkansas Medicaid from funding such procedures. Violators may lose their medical licenses.
The law was met with a federal lawsuit by two doctors and four families with transgender children, who argued that the law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects against unlawful sex discrimination. They also claimed that their 14th Amendment right to parental autonomy was violated, as well as their First Amendment right to free speech.
The lawsuit led to the first trial on the ban on transgender treatment for minors, which ended last week after four days of testimony in October and another four days in November.
U.S. District Judge Jr., who was temporarily barred by a federal appeals court this summer. Jr. According to The New York Times.
In April, Republican Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama became the second state to ban transgender treatment for minors. signed the bill It prohibits minors from receiving puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and transgender surgeries. The bill makes it a crime for a minor to engage in or cause such procedures, and any violation is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $15,000.
School officials in the state are also prohibited from withholding from parents that a child’s “gender or gender perception does not match that of the minor,” according to the statute.
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“I firmly believe that if the good Lord made you a boy, you will be a boy, and if he made you a girl, you will be a girl” , Ivey said in a statement at the time. “We need to protect our children from these radical, life-changing drugs and surgeries, especially when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life.”
Four Alabama families with transgender children, two health care providers and one clergy member later filed a federal lawsuit, which was later joined by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The suit was joined by a similar suit brought by two other Alabama families with transgender children.
ALABAMA doctors, parents of transgender children are suing to block a law banning sex hormones.
In May, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which blocked the use of parts of it banning puberty blockers and sex hormones pending further litigation. Bans on irreversible transgender surgery and schools keeping a child’s gender identity from parents remain in place.
Alabama appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott in February issued a directive The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has designated some forms of transgender treatment for minors as child abuse.
Abbott called on the state agency to investigate and impose penalties, including the removal of their children, against families who support such procedures.
Medical professionals under the directive may also be penalized.
When the directive was challenged in court, a state court in March issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from enforcing it while the case is pending. The state court ruled that Abbott exceeded his statutory authority by issuing the directive, and that the plaintiffs were threatened with irreparable harm.
The Texas Supreme Court later reversed the decision, limiting its application to enforcement of the directive only against plaintiffs awaiting further litigation. A case involving the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), remains on appeal before the state’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Florida becomes second state to effectively restrict transgender treatment for minors without passing joint bill Florida Committee In November, two medical boards voted to approve a rule banning them.
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The Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine in June approved a rule banning minors from receiving puberty blockers, sex hormones and transgender surgeries after Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo asked the Board of Medicine to establish a standard of care. for such “complex and irreversible procedures”.
“Today, the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine voted to protect our children from irreversible surgeries and highly experimental treatments,” Ladapo said in a statement at the time. “I appreciate their integrity in ruling in the best interests of Florida’s children, despite facing enormous pressure to allow this dangerous and unproven treatment.”
“Kids deserve to learn how to navigate this world without harmful pressures. Florida will continue to fight for kids to be kids,” Ladapo added.
Such rules run counter to recommendations from groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Endocrine Society, and the American Medical Association. The Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine (SEGM), an international group of more than 100 clinicians and researchers, issued a report earlier this year saying they were concerned about the “lack of good quality evidence for the use of hormonal and surgical interventions”. as a first-line treatment for youth with gender dysphoria.
At least 53,800 young people were reportedly at risk of missing out on gender-specific health care because of such restrictions. March study by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School.