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A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Alabama law that made it a crime for doctors to prescribe puberty blockers and hormone treatment to minors, just a week after the law took effect.
U.S. District Judge Liles Burke issued a preliminary injunction on Friday to block the Compassionate and Protect Vulnerable Children Act in a legal challenge to the legislation. The law was the first of its kind, and state Attorney General Steve Marshall suggested he would appeal the decision.
ALABAMA LAW CRIMINALIZING GENDER TRANSITIONAL SURGERY, JUVENILE DRUGS TAKES EFFECT
Alabama GOP Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement Saturday morning that the decision was a “temporary legal hurdle.”
“We will continue to fight to protect Alabama’s children from these radical, unproven, life-changing drugs, despite this temporary legal roadblock,” Ivey said. “This is especially important at such a vulnerable stage in their lives. We will continue to uphold our duty to ensure that children are free to grow into the adults God intended them to be, even with societal pressures and today’s modern culture.”
The law made it a crime to provide puberty blockers, hormone treatments or transition surgery to anyone under 19, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The part of the law criminalizing transitional surgery will remain in effect.
The judge also left in place a measure requiring counselors and other school officials to notify parents if a minor reveals they think they are transgender.
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A lawsuit from four families with transgender children has been filed alleging the law is discriminatory, an unconstitutional violation of equal protection and free speech rights, and infringes on family medical decisions . The Department of Justice joined the lawsuit.
The Trump-appointed judge ruled that Alabama had provided no credible evidence to prove the drugs were “experimental.”
He said “the undisputed evidence on the record is that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning drugs as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors.”
He also cited the testimony of a mother who said she feared her child would commit suicide if access to transitioning medication was blocked.
“Enjoining the Act affirms and reaffirms the ‘enduring American tradition’ that parents — not states or federal courts — play the primary role in the upbringing and care of their children,” reads the statement. ‘opinion.
ALABAMA DOCTORS AND PARENTS OF TRANSGENDER CHILDREN SUE TO BLOCK LAW TO BAN CROSS-SEX HORMONES FOR CHILDREN
The law was one of several bills in GOP-led states to focus on transgender youth. However, Alabama’s bill was the first to make it a crime for doctors to provide the drugs.
A judge blocked a similar law in Arkansas last year before it took effect.
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Legislation prohibiting Arkansas doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone therapy, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under the age of 18 was initially opposed by Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson , last spring, but the state legislature overruled the veto. The bill was blocked by a federal judge in July.