The Alabama Attorney General’s Office uses the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade to advocate for the banning of medical treatments considered life-saving by transgender people and doctors.
In a 76-page brief filed with the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, the state invoked or referred to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization at least nine times, citing Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution does not protect any rights “that are not deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the nation”.
“Parliament has determined that transitional treatments in particular are too risky to authorize, so it is these treatments that plaintiffs must show the Constitution protects,” the brief states. “But no one – adult or child – is entitled to transitional treatments that are deeply rooted in our country’s history and tradition. The state can thus regulate or prohibit these interventions for children, even if an adult wants the drugs for his child.
A message seeking comment was left Wednesday for Melody Eagan, an attorney representing families with transgender youth who have filed a lawsuit to block the law.
The state’s brief, filed just three days after the Dobbs ruling struck down the constitutional right to abortion, reflects a new tactic for the state and fears by critics of the Dobbs ruling that it could be used to attack rights outside of abortion.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill in April making it a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for a doctor to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones to minors under 19. The law also prohibits genital and reconstructive surgeries on minors. , which are not performed in Alabama. The bill is one of many pieces of legislation introduced by Republican politicians in recent years to attack transgender youth.
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Although there are a range of treatments and therapies for people with gender dysphoria, puberty blockers – the effects of which are reversible – are given to people in the early stages of puberty who have gender dysphoria. Hormones can be administered later to further align an individual’s body to their gender identity.
Families of young transgender people and doctors have filed a lawsuit to block the law, saying it is discriminatory and that losing access to treatment would put their children at physical or psychological risk. In a trial in May, a counselor compared cutting off access to treatment to stopping treatment for a cancer patient. Witnesses also highlighted the multiple cycles of counselling, assessment and contact with parents before children received medication, and their clinical experience of seeing the medications improve the health of transgender youth who received them.
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State attorneys have repeatedly questioned the safety of treatments and pressed witnesses for plaintiffs about the drugs’ effects on fertility, often citing European studies questioning the drugs’ benefits. They have also suggested that many patients “go abstain” or align their body to their gender during treatment.
Plaintiffs’ witnesses noted that no European country that had studied drugs had gone as far as Alabama to criminalize them, and that there were many “exit ramps” for people receiving treatment, if they needed it.
U.S. District Judge Liles Burke, appointed by President Donald Trump, issued a temporary injunction against the medical ban on May 14. Burke wrote that the law interfered with parents’ ability to make medical decisions, and the state failed to make its case. the harms of drugs.
“The record shows that at least twenty-two major medical associations in the United States endorse transitioning drugs as well-established, evidence-based treatments for gender dysphoria in minors,” Burke wrote.
In its brief to the 11th Circuit, the Alabama Attorney General’s office relied on many of the arguments it made at trial, suggesting that Burke failed to give proper credit to European medical studies. But in reaffirming those arguments, the bureau repeatedly invoked Dobbs, who was still pending before the U.S. Supreme Court at the time of Burke’s ruling.
“Although the case law states that substantive due process extends definite rights to parents, for example, in the manner of bringing up their children, this Court has recognized that the rights of a parent to make decisions for his daughter cannot outweigh his rights to make medical decisions for himself,” the writ stated. “Because no adult or child has a fundamental right to transitional treatments, it necessarily follows that ‘No parent has the right to these treatments for their child.
Complainants have until August 10 to respond.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Brian Lyman at 334-240-0185 or email@example.com.