Alabama Senate Passes Bill Banning Puberty Blockers, Hormone Medications, and Transgender Surgery for Children Under 19

Alabama Senate (Al.com, Mike Cason)

The Alabama Senate today passed a bill that would ban puberty-blocking, hormone medications, and surgeries as transgender treatments for people under age 19.

The bill, passed by a vote of 23-4. It moves to the House of Representatives, which has a similar bill.

Sen. Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville, the sponsor of the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, began discussion of his bill today by reading a couple of definitions of gender dysphoria. Then he gave his own.

“What is gender dysphoria?” Shelnutt said. “I looked it up. According to the Mayo Clinic. It’s a feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people who have gender identify different from their sex at birth. Another definition is a term that describes a sense of unease that a person may have whose gender identity differs from their birth sex.

“My definition: Someone thinks they should be a girl if they’re a boy or thinks they should be a boy if they’re a girl,” Shelnutt said. “Science shows that children that are going through this gender dysphoria, most of them mature or grow out of this stage if they are given the chance. So why is (this bill) needed? It’s just to stop these surgeries and these drugs on our children. It’s to protect our children. That’s my simple explanation.”

Parents and advocates lobbied against the bill at a State House rally today. The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics opposes the bill. In a position statement, the organization said surgeries are not done on minors and that puberty-blockers and hormones are used as part of an evidence-based standard of care.

Sen. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, said the legislation would interfere with how families and medical professionals can help children struggling with gender dysphoria.

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SOURCE: Al.com, Mike Cason

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