Alabama Ban on Youth Transitions Upheld in Federal Court

( – On Monday, August 21, US Court of Appeals ruled that Alabama has the authority to enforce a ban prohibiting the use of hormones and puberty blockers for transgender children. This ruling marks a second win for restrictions in the US on “gender-affirming care for minors,” which are being adopted more and more by Republican-headed US states.

“Gender-affirming care” is a euphemism used to avoid specifying medical treatments that many see as abusive, including removal of the breasts and surgical modification or removal of genitals in minors.

Three judges of the US Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a judge’s temporary injunction against implementing the law. To decide on a permanent injunction against the law, the judge originally scheduled a trial for April 2.

The injunction will remain in place until the court issues a formal mandate, which may take several days. After the mandate is lifted, the attorney general’s office can enforce the ban, which carries penalties for doctors. The decision raises some concerns for families of so-called “transgender” children who were already undergoing treatment.

Puberty blockers are prescription medications that halt puberty, usually administered through injections or implants. They are the same substances used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Hormone treatments can induce sexual development and changes in appearance, and often result in permanent sterilization of those who receive them.

Although major medical organizations oppose the bans, stating that the treatments are safe when administered correctly, critics of the bans argue that there is a lack of solid evidence supporting claimed benefits.

Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, a pediatrician from Birmingham, hoped the decision would be a temporary setback. She emphasized the benefits of these treatments, calling them safe, effective, and established medical care.

Opponents of medical treatment for youth transgender individuals argue the lack of definitive evidence that shows the surgeries truly help the individuals. They highlight potential regrets due to life-altering decisions made by children.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall hailed the recent ruling as a “significant victory,” emphasizing the state’s responsibility to protect minors’ physical and psychological well-being.

This ruling follows a series of recent decisions against similar bans. So far, roughly 20 US states have implemented laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors.

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