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The Justice Department filed a complaint Friday challenging Alabama’s Senate Bill (S.B.) 184, which bans transgender treatments for children.
The DOJ asserts that criminalizing the sexual transition of children is a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment on the grounds of equal protection.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation this month to outlaw puberty blocking medications for minors. The bill makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones to transgender children to help in their gender transition.
“S.B. 184 makes it a felony for any person to ‘engage in or cause’ specified types of medical care for transgender minors. S.B. 184 thus discriminates against transgender youth by denying them access to certain forms of medically necessary care,” the Department of Justice wrote. “It further discriminates against transgender youth by barring them from accessing particular procedures while allowing non-transgender minors to access the same or similar procedures.”
FILE: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in Woodstock, Alabama, March 15, 2022. (REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage)
“Today’s filing is the latest action by the Justice Department to combat discrimination based on gender identity, including unlawful restrictions on medical care for transgender youth,” the department went on to boast. “On March 31, 2022, the Civil Rights Division issued a letter to all state attorneys general reminding them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination.”
Ivey signed the anti-puberty blocker legislation a day after state lawmakers passed the bill. Groups immediately vowed to challenge the law in court.
Alabama is the second state to impose a ban on gender-affirming care for minors and the first to impose criminal penalties. A similar measure in Arkansas, which would have banned doctors from prescribing the medications, was blocked by a federal judge.
Ivey also signed legislation prohibiting certain Alabama elementary school teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation matters in school.
The Justice Department building is seen in Washington. (REUTERS)
The parents of two Alabama children who identify as transgender joined with two medical doctors in suing Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and other state officials in an attempt to block the state’s new law banning cross-sex hormones and so-called “puberty-blocking” drugs 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, among others – claim that S.B. 184, which Ivey signed Friday, violates federal non-discrimination law, including a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.