In light of a recent federal court decision that allowed Alabama to enforce its ban on transgender surgeries and medicines for minors, advocacy groups are already setting up grants to fund out-of-state travel for transgender individuals.
In April 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed VCAP (SB184), which prohibits doctors in Alabama from performing transgender operations or prescribing cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to individuals under 19, into law.
The VCAP law went into effect on May 8, 2022, but was blocked by U.S. District Judge Liles Burke a few days later. Burke's injunction came after multiple parties added themselves as plaintiffs in the case, including five transgender minors by way of their parents, the United States of America and Kaitlin Toyama, an attorney-advisor with the civil rights division of the DOJ.
On Monday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the preliminary injunction, saying it did not apply the correct standard of scrutiny. It will now be allowed to go into effect. However, VCAP is still scheduled to begin trial in April 2024 for a full hearing on the law's constitutionality.
In response, the Campaign for Southern Equality, in partnership in Alabama with the Magic City Acceptance Center and Prism United instituted the Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project.
The project offers information on VCAP, helps identify out-of-state “gender-affirming care” providers, and offers emergency grants of $500 for immediate needs, including travel, medication, and other logistics.
“This decision is devastatingly malicious – these judges are knowingly harming young people across Alabama,” said Corey Harvard, executive director of Prism United in Mobile. “It is a heart-breaking development and a blow to youth who simply want to live as their authentic selves. To every trans youth or parent of a trans youth, please know: We see you, we are here for you, and we are ready to fight this harmful, politically-motivated, anti-science decision until trans youth have access to the healthcare they deserve.”
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