Alabama Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Gender-Transition Procedures for Children

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Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation Friday prohibiting gender-transition procedures for minors, following the Texas model that classified such medical interventions as child abuse.

Passed 66-28 in the state’s House of Representatives on Thursday, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act outlaws, with exceptions, the “performance of a medical procedure or the prescription of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty.” It requires the “disclosure of certain information concerning students to parents by schools” and establishes “criminal penalties for violations.”

The bill forces the school which the relevant child attends to inform the parent or legal guardian that the child is experiencing gender dysphoria, or that the “minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex is inconsistent with the minor’s sex.” Nurses, counselors, teachers, principals, or other administrative officials at a public or private school are forbidden from encouraging or coercing a minor not to notify their parent of their child’s gender dysphoria.

Under the law, physicians or any individual found to have provided hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or gender-reassignment surgery to children would be charged with a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.

The Alabama measure specifies that the cosmetic surgery children may undergo includes “a mastectomy to remove a female adolescent’s breasts and ‘bottom surgery’ that removes a minor’s health reproductive organs and creates an artificial form aiming to approximate the appearance of the genitals of the opposite sex.”

The bill applies to “surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy” as well as those “that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the
individual’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty.”

Section 43-8-1, Code of Alabama 1975 defines a minor as a person who is under 19 years of age.

The treatment of youth transgender diagnoses in the Alabama bill mimics Texas’ version, which characterized gender reconstructive procedures as child abuse, arguing that they deny the child their liberty interest in procreation. Texas Governor Greg Abbott took it a step further, ordering investigations into medical providers and parents who enabled children’s transition surgeries, triggering lawsuits from the ACLU and other pro-transgender organizations.

Ahead of the 2022 midterms, a cascade of Republican-controlled states have passed similar measures on the grounds that children are being induced to make life-altering choices in the name of a radical new ideology. Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill banning irreversible gender reassignment surgery for children as well as biological male athletes participating in women’s sports.

Late last month, the Department of Health and Human Services made a strong statement endorsing radical transgender ideology, promoting early body-changing medical interventions as “gender-affirming” care.

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