Two parents and two physicians who work with them filed suit Monday to block Alabama’s new law banning puberty blockers and hormones for transgender youth.
The 36-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, argues the law is discriminatory and could do physical and psychological harm to two transgender teenagers listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Those teens are currently receiving treatment for gender dysphoria, using puberty blockers and hormones.
“If allowed to take effect, the Act will interrupt these medically necessary treatments, prevent them from obtaining future medically necessary treatments for gender dysphoria, and cause them to experience irreparable physical and psychological harm,” the lawsuit says.
The suit names Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey; Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall; Shelby County District Attorney Jill Lee and Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr as defendants.
Gina Maiola, a spokeswoman for Ivey, wrote in an email Monday morning that the office had not been served with the lawsuit, but added “we are prepared to defend our values and this legislation.”
“Transgender youth are a part of Alabama, and they deserve the same privacy, access to treatment, and data-driven health care from trained medical professionals as any other Alabamian,” Tish Gotell Faulks, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said in a statement.
Faulks added that lawmakers are using children, as, “political pawns for their reelection campaigns.” Ivey and legislators face primaries next month.
Unless blocked by the court, the Alabama law will take effect May 8th, making it a felony for a doctor to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones to aid in the gender transition of anyone under age 19. Violations will be punishable by up to 10 years in prison. It also prohibits gender transition surgeries, although doctors told lawmakers those are not performed on minors in Alabama.
“The level of legislative overreach into the practice of medicine is unprecedented. And never before has legislative overreach come into pediatric examination rooms to shut down the parent voice in medical decision making between a parent, their pediatrician and their child,” Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, a medical provider and a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Ivey signed the legislation Friday, a day after it was approved by the Alabama Legislature. At a campaign stop Monday, the governor invoked religion when asked about her decision to sign the legislation.
“If the good Lord made you a boy at birth, then you are a boy. If the good Lord made you a girl at birth, then you are a girl,” she said. “We should especially focus our efforts on helping these young people become healthy adults just like God wanted them to be rather than self-induced medical intervenors.”
Asked if the law would survive a court challenge, she replied, “We’ll wait and see.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: PBS.ORG