The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday passed controversial legislation to prevent minors from having their gender medically altered by healthcare providers. The legislation bars puberty blockers, high levels of the other gender’s sex hormones, and/or surgeries to change the child's birth gender.

The Vulnerable Child Protection Act, Senate Bill 184 (SB184), was sponsored by State Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) and carried on the floor of the Alabama House by State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy).

Allen said, “Our sole responsibility is to protect children.”

“We have never had an adult come forward to our committee who had had these procedures done on them as a child who said that they were happy that this happened to them. Every person who came before us [was] in support of this bill.”

This bill does nothing to prevent adults from having sex change surgeries.

Allen said that in the state legislature, “We make decisions on this floor to protect kids all the time.”

Protecting children from “the irreversible impact of these procedures,” he said, is another of those times.

State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) spoke in opposition to the bill.

“It is not a good bill. It is not good public policy,” England said. “What you are doing is making it harder for them to be here.”

England said that the real purpose of this bill "is to make life so uncomfortable that [families seeking these treatments] don’t want to be here in Alabama.”

“You want life to be so difficult in Alabama that people that don’t look like you, that don’t think like you, will leave the state,” England said. “It has nothing to do with protecting children or we would make sure that doctors have enough tools to treat these children.

“This bill puts a sign on the state line that says, ‘We don’t want you here.'"

LGBTQ advocates denounced SB184.

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State Rep. Neil Rafferty (D-Birmingham), only the second openly gay state legislator in the history of Alabama, said, “I hate this bill.”

State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) said that everyone either has or will have someone in their family who is lesbian, queer, or transgender.

SB184 now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s (R) desk for her consideration.

This legislation has been a high priority of social conservative groups, such as Eagle Forum.

Thursday was the last day of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.

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