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Judge blocks Alabama restrictions on certain gender-affirming treatments for transgender youth


In granting the preliminary injunction late Friday night sought by the Justice Department and private plaintiffs, Judge Liles Burke said there was a strong likelihood the court would find the law’s restrictions on the supply of drugs unconstitutional. transition, such as puberty blockers, to minors.

Other parts of the law — including its ban on sex reassignment surgeries on minors and its regulations aimed at school officials — remain in effect.

“The defendants produce no credible evidence to show that the drugs in transition are ‘experimental,'” Liles, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote. “While defendants offer evidence that transitioning drugs pose certain risks, 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. evidence for gender dysphoria in minors.”

Among those challenging the law were minors, parents and doctors, who sued last month arguing that the law violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Justice Department was allowed to intervene in the case to also challenge Alabama’s restrictions.

The judge said the “plaintiff parents have a fundamental right to direct their children’s medical care”, finding they were likely to succeed in their due process claim. The judge also said the minors were likely to succeed in their claim for equal protection and that Alabama’s “proposed justifications” for the law “are hypothetical, not overwhelmingly compelling.”

The Alabama law, dubbed the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, was signed into law last month and went into effect last week. Under the law, medical professionals who provide gender-affirming care to anyone under the age of 19 could face up to 10 years in prison.

The law also prohibits nurses, counsellors, teachers, principals and other school officials from attempting to “encourage or coerce” a minor to conceal from his or her parent “the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender or his sex is incompatible with the sex of the minor”, ​​or to hide this information from the parents.

Alabama’s measure is part of a broader move by Republican-led states to impose restrictions on the lives of transgender youth in the United States. Despite legislative pressure to end this type of treatment, gender-affirming care is a recommended practice for people who identify as transgender, that is, they identify with one gender. different from the one they were assigned at birth, or different gender, with a gender expression that does not strictly correspond to society’s traditional ideas of gender.

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