Alabama Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Medical Providers from Caring for Transgender Youth

Tuesday March 2, 2021

Alabama Senate Passes Bill Prohibiting Medical Providers from Caring for Transgender Youth
  (Source:Getty Images)

Today the Alabama Senate approved Senate Bill 10, a bill that would make it a Class C felony for medical professionals to provide transition-related care to transgender patients under the age of 19. A Class C felony could result in a 10-year prison sentence or a $15,000 fine in Alabama.

The bill also requires teachers and staff at schools in Alabama to share with students' parents if they learn that "a minor's perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex." In effect, the bill essentially requires teachers to "out" transgender students to their parents, potentially before they are ready to share.

If the Alabama House of Representatives approves its companion bill, HB1, and Governor Kay Ivey signs the proposal, Alabama will be the first state in the country to pass a bill like this.

A separate bill today, HB391, is being considered by the Alabama House to restrict transgender students from participating in school athletics.

"This bill in Alabama — and other legislation like it across the country — isn't just cruelly targeting transgender youth and their doctors, it also lacks a fundamental understanding of transgender young people," said Allison Scott, Director of Impact and Innovation for the Campaign for Southern Equality. "Lawmakers are insisting that they know what's best for transgender young people and ignoring the recommendations of medical experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more. Patients along with their health care providers, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient — and a preponderance of research shows that affirming and supporting trans youth is essential to their well-being."

"As a transgender woman, I felt sick to my stomach reading about this bill. Not only does it jeopardize the mental and physical health of children by banning affirming care — but it also requires school staff to out trans youth to their parents," Scott continued. "It's effectively endangering many possible lifelines for a transgender child: Under this bill they can't go to their doctor for help, and they can't seek counsel or comfort from their teachers or school staff. If their parents reject them for their gender identity, where are they supposed to go? I implore lawmakers to recognize this bill as the dangerous weapon that it is and reject it outright — including Gov. Kay Ivey, who should veto if it reaches her desk. I also send love, support, and validation to the trans youth in Alabama and nationwide who have already been harmed by this attack."

The news is a harrowing step backward for transgender rights in Alabama, which made progress with a federal judge's ruling this January. As previously reported, Alabama's policy requiring a transgender person to undergo full gender reassignment surgery before they can change the sex on their driver's license was ruled unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said Alabama policy's that people "can only change the sex designation on their driver licenses only by changing their genitalia" is unconstitutional. He directed the state to give new licenses to the three transgender women who filed the lawsuit "reflecting that they are women."

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