This week, a federal appeals court said that Alabama may carry out a statute that forbids the use of hormone treatment and puberty-delaying medications to treat youngsters who identify as transgender.
Three judges from the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took away a judge’s temporary order that stopped the law from being enforced. The Associated Press said, though, that the judge has chosen April 2 as the date for a hearing to decide if he wants to stop the law for good.
In their decision to lift the order, the judges noted that states possess a “compelling interest in shielding children from drugs, especially those whose effects can’t be changed and whose benefits aren’t clear.”
The judges further stated, “In sum, Plaintiffs’ statements that the Constitution safeguards the right to administer puberty blockers as well as transgender hormone treatments to one’s children is exactly the sort of claim which asks courts to establish new ground in the area of Substantive Due Process” and consequently, as a result, should elicit the “utmost caution” from the judiciary.”
But the injunction will stay in place until the court gives the order, which could take a few days. But once the order is officially dismissed, the attorney general’s office is going to be able to implement the ban. Doctors could go to jail if they don’t follow the ruling.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called the decision a “big win for our country as a whole, for children, and also for common sense.”
“The Eleventh Circuit made it clear that the State has the power to protect the physical and mental health of children.”
But support groups that think parents should let their kids get permanent hormone therapy said, “Parents, rather than the government, are best suited for making these medical decisions regarding their kids.”
“Our clients have been left devastated due to this decision, which leaves them open to what exactly the district court, after having heard a number of days of testimony coming from parents, medical professionals, and specialists, discovered to be permanent damage as a consequence of losing the medical treatment they have been getting and that has helped them thrive,” claimed a joint statement from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Even though the decision only applies to Alabama’s rule, similar decisions have been made in other places across the country. In court, many of the laws are being fought.
The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which was enacted by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey in the year 2022 and makes using hormones as well as puberty blockers on children a crime punishable by up to 10 years in jail, was signed into law by Ivey.