A law that made it illegal for healthcare providers to offer their services to transgender youth seeking to transition, was partially blocked by a judge in Alabama. The law, which was forwarded by Gov. Kay Ivey, included a punishment of maximum of ten years in prison for the ones breaking it, thus entering the category of a felony. The same law, called the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act”, included sanctions for parents and teachers who were in favor of transitioning.
However, even if this section of the law, which was a long time in the making by the conservative legislators, was banned, most of it still remains in place. Thus, gender transitioning medical procedures on children remain illegal, while “educators and school nurses are not allowed to withhold — or “encourage or coerce” students to withhold — from their parents “the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor’s sex”, according to The New York Times.
During his ruling, judge Liles C. Burke of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, deemed the article of the law as unconstitutional and declared that the state doesn’t have the necessary expertise and qualification to decide if a certain type of medication is or is not experimental or detrimental to the health of the people using it, as the advocates of this law claimed.
The Alabama law was met with a lot of disapproval by the American Medical Association, which publicly declared that it “opposes the dangerous intrusion of government into the practice of medicine and the criminalization of health care decision-making”. Furthermore, the AMA claims that “gender-affirming care is medically-necessary, evidence-based care that improves the physical and mental health of transgender and gender-diverse people”.
Even though a similar law was blocked last year in Arkansas, lawmakers in conservative states continues to put pressure on the transgender community and attempt the implementation of questionable legislation.