On Thursday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced a multi-state brief supporting Missouri's law banning transgender surgeries and pharmaceuticals for minors.
Like similar briefs Marshall has filed in other states, the Missouri brief highlights the "dishonesty of advocacy groups" like the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Alabama has placed WPATH at the center of its own fight defending Alabama's law preventing surgical and medicinal interventions for minors.
"In reality, the latest WPATH standards are gender ideology talking points masquerading as medical standards," Marshall said. "These so-called standards advocate prescribing some children puberty blockers and having them undergo life-altering surgeries because it is considered 'medically necessary gender-affirming care. Our youth deserve better, and I will never stop fighting to protect our children from these radical and often irreversible medical interventions."
Invoking a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed a similar Tennessee law to take effect, the brief argues that the Constitution entrusts states with the "authority, in truth a responsibility, to look after the health and safety" of children.
Additionally, The brief argues that European healthcare authorities have sharply restricted access to sex-modification procedures for minors in response to systematic reviews of the evidence. While American medical organizations are ignoring the evidence and advocate for unfettered access to the procedures.
In several European countries, the use of transgender medicines and operations for minors has been slowed or halted as voices opposing the practice continue to grow. Across the globe, detransitioners — those who decide to reverse transgender operations — are also taking their doctors or state health organizations to court, increasing calls to take a closer look at the process. Marshall and other AGs nationwide have pointed to Europe as a model for states to pause these types of medical interventions.
In April 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey signed VCAP (SB184) into law, which prohibits doctors in Alabama from performing transgender operations or prescribing cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers to individuals under 19.
VCAP went into effect on May 8, 2022, but was blocked by U.S. District Judge Liles Burke a few days later. The injunction by Burke 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.
In March, Burke ruled in favor of the state on a motion related to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), requiring WPATH to disclose information for the formulation of the guidelines it offers for treating gender dysphoria, which are touted as the "gold standard" in so-called gender-affirming care.
The trial for VCAP is slated to begin in 2024. However, the recent appeals court ruling for Tennessee gives Marshall hope for Alabama's case.
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