Dalila Ali Rajah
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Alabama GOP Gov. Signs Bill Making Gender-Affirming Care a Felony

Gov. Ivey, Rep. Stadthagen, Sen. Shelnutt

The governor of Alabama signed two anti-trans bills into law on Friday, including one that criminalizes providing gender-affirming care to trans youth.

The other bill signed by Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, forces students to go to the restroom that matches their gender assigned at birth and is on their birth certificates. That bill also contains a version of "don’t say gay," which prohibits classroom discussion on sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary school.

LGBTQ+ rights groups have called the anti-gender-affirming care law the first of its kind in the country. It makes providing such care a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. It prohibits doctors from prescribing hormone treatment to trans youth and bans gender-affirming surgery on minors — though such surgeries are mostly unheard of. The law forces schools to tell a student's parents or guardians if a student's gender identity is different from that assigned at birth.

Prior to the bills passing, Ivey didn’t immediately comment on the legislation.

She did Friday.

“There are very real challenges facing our young people especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture,” Ivey said in a statement.

Ivey said she believed “very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl.”

She added, “We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable state in life. Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.”

Regarding the anti-trans bathroom bill she signed, Ivey said, “Here in Alabama, men use the men’s room, and ladies use the ladies’ room — it’s really a no-brainer.”

“This bill will also ensure our elementary classrooms remain free from any kind of sex talk,” Ivey continued.

LGBTQ+ rights organizations have condemned the laws and have already said they will sue the state government over them.

“At the eleventh hour, the governor of Alabama signed into law a slate of arguably the most extreme anti-trans bills we have ever seen,” said Sam Ames, director of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor Project. “These policies attempt to make providing gender-affirming care a felony, and cut off access to nearly every support system transgender and nonbinary youth have — support systems we know are critical for reducing their suicide risk and for advancing their positive mental health.”

In a release about the bills, the Human Rights Campaign noted that leading child health and welfare groups have opposed bills targeting transgender youth. 

“This legislation helps no one and no constituency that stands to benefit from this. But LGBTQ+ kids, especially transgender kids, will be harmed by this law. They’ll be forced to bear the cost of further discrimination — discrimination that already causes transgender youth to feel unsafe in school — just because self-serving politicians chose to use their existence to score political points,” HRC Alabama State Director Carmarion D. Anderson-Harvey said in a statement Friday. “Ivey’s signature on this horrid bill is an embarrassment to herself, her administration, and the entire state of Alabama.”

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