MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Federal judges at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals are considering whether to allow Alabama’s law banning transgender medical treatment to take effect. The law has been blocked since May.
Friday morning, lawyers argued that treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) present serious risks to children and that the state has broad authority to prevent that.
Plaintiffs, however, say SB184 discriminates against transgender youth by denying them standard of care treatment, in violation of the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Solicitor General Edmund LaCour told judges the case is clear, and the law should be allowed to take effect.
“There’s nothing left to decide. Of course we have rational bases for preventing the sterilization of children. It’s to prevent the sterilization of children,” LaCour said.
Senior Attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Director of the Transgender Youth Project Asaf Orr says the law should stay blocked.
“It’s telling Alabama families who are raising transgender kids that you’re not welcome here,” Orr said.
The law was passed during this year’s legislative session. It prohibits doctors from prescribing medical treatment to minors meant to alter their gender appearance. Violators could face up to 10 years in prison.
Attorney for the plaintiffs’ Jeff Doss told judges this should be a parent’s decision.
“The state has violated a parent’s fundamental right recognized by the Supreme Court for more than 100 years to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children,” Doss said.
Following the arguments, LaCour said the risk to children is too great for the state to allow these medical interventions.
“These particular treatments are dangerous. They carry tremendous risks, and they’re being given to children who are not able to fully comprehend what it is they’re potentially giving up,” LaCour said.
A ruling on this case is expected to be out by February or March of next year. The trial for a permanent block on the law is set for October 2023.