Karine Jean-Pierre
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Bill Criminalizing Gender-Affirming Care as a Felony Passes in Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey

In a day already marked by lawmakers working to pass two other anti-trans bills in the Alabama legislature, the body has passed a bill that would criminalize gender-affirming health care to trans minors in the state.

The House passed the bill on the last day of the legislative session. It will now go to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican.

It’s been proposed for the past three years, according to AL.com, but this was the first time it reached the House. The Senate passed it earlier this year.

If signed into law, the bill would prohibit doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or hormones or performing gender-affirming surgery on trans minors, doing so would be a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. AL.com notes that doctors have said that no such surgeries are done on minors in the state.

Thursday’s vote comes as other states attempt to restrict such care. Such attempts in Arkansas and Texas to restrict gender-affirming care access have been blocked by courts.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Department of Health and Human Services have said they plan to protect access to gender-affirming care for minors.

Voicing opposition to the bill today, Rep. Chris England said, “Make no mistake about it, it has nothing to do with protecting children. Because if we were interested in protecting children, we would make sure doctors have as many options as necessary to make sure that that child grows up healthy and happy here.”

Research from the Trevor Project found that a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy at 55 percent and puberty blockers by 52 percent if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents.

In a statement, the organization urged Ivey to not sign the bill.

“On likely the last day of Alabama’s legislative session, lawmakers have added last-minute votes to push the most extreme anti-transgender agenda we’ve seen to date — all within a matter of hours,” said Sam Ames director of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project. “These policies are not only cruel and unnecessary, they are unpopular among a majority of Americans. Criminalizing doctors, isolating trans youth from their support systems, and stigmatizing conversations around LGBTQ identity will only fuel more bullying, anxiety, and suicide risk among these youth.”

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