MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT/AP) — On Wednesday, the Alabama Legislature took a step forward in approving a bill that prohibits gender change therapy for minors—making it a felony for doctors to administer hormonal drug treatment to aid in their transition.
In a hearing held Wednesday afternoon, the Senate Health Committee voted 11-2 in favor of the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (SB-10). The bill, sponsored by Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, will head to the full Senate for a vote.
Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy, has the same bill in the House. Both bills were also proposed in 2020. Shelnutt’s bill passed the Senate in March but failed in the House when the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the legislative session.
The bills would prohibit medications that block or delay puberty for people 18 year old or younger who identify as transgender. Also, minors would be prohibited from having gender transition surgery.
As in 2020, advocacy groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, have opposed the bill, criticizing the proposal as a measure designed to prevent doctors from providing essential medical care to transgender youth.
Alabama is one of at least eight states where conservative lawmakers are pushing similar measures, arguing such decisions should wait until adulthood.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.