The Alabama Senate passed SB10, the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, on Tuesday, March 2, 2020. The bill prohibits medical procedures and medications that are intended to delay puberty or alter the appearance of a minor child’s gender. The bill applies to minors under the age of 19.
The legislation also prohibits public and private school employees, such as teachers, nurses, counselors and principals, from withholding information from parents or guardians about a minor’s struggle with gender confusion. School employees would also not be able to encourage students to not tell their parents about identity struggles.
SB10 makes it a Class C felony for health workers who violate the law. The bill does not prevent health workers from treating minors with physical disorders of sex development.
Caleb Crosby, president and CEO of the Alabama Policy Institute (API), told The Daily Citizen, “This bill is essential in ensuring that no child in Alabama is subject to harmful attempts to change the appearance of their gender. We know these experimental surgeries and hormone therapies are just that – experimental. They are not fit for minors who will largely outgrow the desire to change their gender.”
API is a Focus on the Family-affiliated organization that promotes strong families, limited government and free markets in the state. The organization wrote that SB10 and its counterpart in the House, HB1, are important bills that “should be passed and signed into law” by Governor Kay Ivey.
In an editorial about the legislation, API said, “As conservatives, we want a government that is as limited as possible and has the smallest reach into our lives. … [However], the conducting of transgender surgeries and prescribing of hormone therapy on otherwise-healthy minors is one area in which we believe the government is right to step in.”
“It is increasingly common for these young patients to be subjected to the use of medications to prevent (block) puberty from occurring and hormones to make girls more masculine or boys more feminine, and to undergo surgeries that remove the internal and external organs that make them recognizable as male or female,” API added.
The policy organization went on to explain that puberty blockers, hormones and surgeries don’t change a person’s biological sex. And, they often don’t even resolve feelings of gender dysphoria – the emotional and psychological distress when individuals reject their biological sex and come to believe they are the opposite sex. Nor do they deal with other mental and psychological issues that gender-confused children often struggle with.
In supporting this legislation protecting children, API wrote, “There is a lack of robust, long term-medical research that proves puberty-blocking drugs and hormones and so-called gender reassignment surgery actually cure a child’s gender dysphoria.”
The American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) agrees, “There is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth. This means that youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent, nor can minors provide assent for these interventions.”
ACPeds explains that transgender interventions – drugs, hormones and surgeries – harm children, physically and mentally. “Puberty blockers may actually cause depression and other emotional disturbances related to suicide,” the organization said, adding that puberty blockers have “been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility.”
“Performing these surgeries cannot be undone,” API wrote, adding, “There is evidence that the majority of these children will resolve these feelings with time, therapeutic counseling, and if their parents wish, pastoral and religious counseling. Alabama’s children must not be in harm’s way in regard to their medical treatments.”
Alabama’s not the only state considering such legislation, as Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Utah and other states have measures in the legislature that would protect children from damaging their minds and bodies with puberty blockers, opposite-sex hormones and surgeries.
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