In a near-unanimous vote, the Alabama Senate passed a ban on medicalized gender-transitioning of minors, outlawing the prescribing of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and performing genital mutilation and double mastectomies on youth younger than 19. The bill, called the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” is sponsored by Republican state Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, and will soon head to the state House, which has already passed a companion bill. The final Senate vote was 23-4, according to multiple reports. The passage comes after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the southern state’s efforts last year. Both versions of the bill make it a felony to use experimental drugs on youth younger than 19. Those who violate the law could face $15,000 in fines and 10 years in prison.
The bill also requires school staff in Alabama to disclose to parents if their children’s mental perception of their “gender identity” is inconsistent with their biological sex. “Children aren’t mature enough to make these decisions on surgeries and drugs. The whole point is to protect kids,” said Shelnutt in an interview with The Associated Press. In response to Democratic lawmakers and other opponents in the state who say that the legislation infringes on the rights of families to make medical care decisions, Shelnutt noted that state law does not allow minors to smoke or drink alcohol. Alabama is among a handful of states presently considering such laws that assert that youth who identify as the opposite sex or suffer from gender dysphoria must wait until they are adults before undergoing any hormonal or surgical intervention gender-transition.
The increased pushback against the medicalization of gender in minors comes after a ruling late last year in a judicial review against the Tavistock gender clinic in London, England. In the case brought by Keira Bell, a 23-year-old de-transitioned woman who identified as transgender during her teen years and underwent a medicalized gender-transition at the facility, the high court ruled that children younger than 16 were not capable of giving informed consent to experimental drugs like puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Last month, in the academic journal PLOS ONE, a published study found that when the children completed chemical puberty blockade at age 16, their bone growth was reduced in both strength and height. Of the 44 youth in the cohort, 43 went on to take cross-sex hormones.
Source: Christian Post