MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — A new bill in the Alabama Legislature would make it illegal to prescribe, dispense or administer puberty-suppressing drugs or cross-sex hormones to children wanting to change their sex.
Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, is sponsoring HB303, also known as the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, that would also ban certain surgeries, such as hysterectomies, mastectomies or castrations, from being performed on children under the age of 19.
On Wednesday, the House Health Committee passed the bill that now goes to the House floor for a vote.
Daniel Edgers, 18, shared with committee members his experience at a young age with questions about his gender. He has gone through the treatment the bill would ban.
“These treatments not only stopped the depression and suicidal thoughts that I had experienced since infancy, but also healed my eating disorder,” Edgers said.
Sydney Wright, who is biologically female, said she spent one year as a transgender male. However, due to her negative experience with hormone treatments, she supports the bill.
“And I was all at the age of 18 doing this and I cannot even begin to fathom somebody younger than that, to be able to do that or to even make that decision,” Wright said.
The legislation would make administering these treatments to children as a Class C felony that would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
“I was shocked when I found out doctors in Alabama were prescribing these types of drugs to children,” Allen said. “It’s something you hear about in other states, but not here in Alabama.”
Eagle Forum of Alabama, a conservative lobbying group, is one of the groups supporting the bill.
“Doctors across the nation are giving minors, (even those in elementary school) puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Some doctors are even amputating healthy non-diseased body parts. In some states 13-year-old girls receiving double mastectomies and boys as young as 15 are being castrated,” a press release from Eagle Forum of Alabama stated.
At least six other states have introduced similar “vulnerable child” legislation in the 2020 legislation session. Sen. Shay Shellnut, R-Trussville has introduced a companion bill, SB219, in the Alabama Senate, which also passed out of committee Wednesday.