Regulation

Judge considers blocking Alabama law that denies minors gender-affirming care

An Alabama judge is considering issuing an injunction over a law signed last month that will criminalize providing transgender youth with gender-affirming care like hormone therapies and puberty blockers.

A three-day hearing was held this week over whether an injunction should be issued to halt that law, known as the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, from going into effect on Sunday, according to AL.com

The Department of Justice, which sought for the law to be temporarily stopped from going into effect, filed a lawsuit last month arguing that the law violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, according to the news outlet.

Closing arguments for that the three-day hearing wrapped up Friday, but it was unclear if U.S. District Judge Liles Burke, who was nominated by former President Trump, would act on the request before Sunday.

“I can’t say it’s going to be out tomorrow or the next day or the next day,” he said, AL.com reported, noting he and his team “will be doing nothing else but this.”

Should Burke wait to make a decision after Sunday, providing gender-affirming care to minors would become illegal.

The Alabama law is the first of its kind to make gender-affirming care for youth a crime, which could land doctors in jail for decades if they violate it.

Republicans, however, have also targeted transgender women athletes, arguing that they should not be allowed to play on sports teams that align with their gender. Two Republican governors have vetoed such legislation, but one veto has already been overridden in Utah while another is expected soon in Indiana.  

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