MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama’s ban on medical treatments for transgender youth is now allowed to take effect, following the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision Monday to lift a temporary injunction.
The law says that doctors who prescribe hormones or provide other medical treatments to help someone under the age of 19 transition can face up to 10 years in prison.
Current Secretary of State Wes Allen was a representative when he sponsored the legislation, officially called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, in the 2022 legislative session.
“It’s a big win for children and protecting minors,” Allen said.
Allen says he’s glad to see the temporary injunction lifted.
“It was right then, and it’s right now, and we can never back down,” Allen said.
Attorney General Steve Marshall also praised the ruling, saying in a statement it affirms the state’s authority to “safeguard the physical and psychological wellbeing of minors.”
Groups supporting transgender youth say the decision is disappointing. Scott McCoy with the Southern Poverty Law Center says this is proven medical care, and without it, families with trans children may not want to stay in Alabama.
“The government has stepped in and said, ‘You don’t get to make this decision,’ and that makes the parents have to face really tough other decisions about whether or not they can stay or whether or not they have to leave in order to get the care their kids actually need,” McCoy said.
This court’s ruling isn’t the final say on the law. It ends a temporary block on the law while the case moves forward. A hearing is scheduled in April over whether to permanently block the law.
Allen says he is confident in the state to continue defending the legislation.
“General Marshall and his team have done a fine job defending the law and we look forward to it progressing through the courts,” Allen said.
McCoy says he thinks the evidence is on their side.
“This is a temporary setback in our view and we of course will continue to aggressively seek legal protection for these families,” McCoy said.