Alabama doctors, parents of transgender children, are suing the law banning cross-sex hormones in children

By | April 12, 2022

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The parents of two Alabama children who identify as transgender have teamed up with two doctors to sue Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and other state officials to block the state’s new law eliminating cross-sex hormones and so-called “Puberty blocker” drugs banned for minors.

The parents and doctors — represented by a bevy of left-leaning law firms including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Human Rights Campaign — claim that SB 184, which Ivey signs Friday, violates federal nondiscrimination law, including a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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“I firmly believe that if the good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl,” Ivey said in a statement on Friday. “We should be especially protective of our children from these radical, life-changing drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage of life.”

Governor Kay Ivey answers reporters' questions during a news conference at the Alabama State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

Governor Kay Ivey answers reporters’ questions during a news conference at the Alabama State Capitol Building in Montgomery, Alabama on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
(Reuters)

“By signing SB 184, Governor Ivey has communicated to kind, loving, and loyal families in Alabama that they cannot remain here without denying their children the basic medical care they need,” said Dr. Morissa Ladinsky, one of the doctors suing the state, testified Monday. “It has undermined the health and well-being of children in Alabama and left physicians like me in the horrible position of having to choose between ignoring our patients’ medical needs or risking jail time.”

The lawsuit alleges that the statute’s “prohibitions on providing safe, effective, and medically necessary care to transgender minors have no rational basis and serve no legitimate purpose.” The lawsuit cites the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the American Psychological Association and other medical and mental health organizations that support the use of cross-sex hormones and so-called “puberty blockers” to treat gender dysphoria, the persistent and painful state of identifying as the opposite of one’s biological sex.

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The lawsuit alleges that the law violates Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which states that “a person shall not be … barred from participating in, denied benefits of, or discriminated against under any health care program or activity.” receives federal funding. The lawsuit also alleges violations of the Equal Treatment Clause and due process in the 14th Amendment.

MONTGOMERY, AL - MARCH 22: Exterior view of the Alabama State Capitol on March 22, 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama.

MONTGOMERY, AL – MARCH 22: Exterior view of the Alabama State Capitol on March 22, 2020 in Montgomery, Alabama.
(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

The lawsuit seeks a determination that the law violates federal law, an injunction against Alabama officials preventing its enforcement, and attorneys’ fees.

However, some doctors have warned against the use of such medical procedures.

Most hormone treatments “are only approved by the FDA as puberty blockers in children to treat central precocious puberty and not to treat gender dysphoria,” dr Michael Laidlawa independent private practice Endocrinologist in Rocklin, Calif., told Fox News in December 2021.

April 10, 2017: Kay Ivey walks in to be sworn in as the next Governor of Alabama in Montgomery, Alabama.

April 10, 2017: Kay Ivey walks in to be sworn in as the next Governor of Alabama in Montgomery, Alabama.
(AP)

“Central precocious puberty is a medical condition in which a child begins puberty at an unusually young age, say 4 years of age,” Laidlaw explained. “Drugs like Supprelin LA are used to stop this abnormal puberty. Once the child has reached a typical age for puberty (eg.

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“The off-label use of these drugs in gender dysphoria is completely different,” she said endocrinologist added. “In this case, the healthy child has already started normal puberty. But then the drug is administered to block normal puberty. Blocking normal puberty has numerous unhealthy side effects, including loss of normal bone development, interfering with normal brain and social development, and most importantly, causing infertility and sexual dysfunction. Many of these effects will be irreversible.”

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