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Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall led a second amicus brief to defend an Arkansas ban on transgender medical procedures for underaged persons.

The Arkansas law was passed in April 2021 and prohibited doctors from providing transgender hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years of age.

The law was challenged in federal court and is currently being appealed by the state in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

"Alabama, numerous other states, and many countries around the world have grown concerned about the skyrocketing number of children suffering from gender dysphoria and other forms of gender-related psychological distress," Marshall said. "We all agree that these vulnerable children need help. The question is how to help without causing serious long-term damage. Some doctors and clinics have responded by providing children with puberty-blocking drugs, large amounts of cross-sex hormones and even surgeries that permanently alter minors' bodies. But there is no solid basis to think these radical interventions are providing lasting benefits, and we know they are causing significant harms including weakening of bones, increases in cardiovascular disease and permanent sterility."

Precedent in the Arkansas law could prove pivotal for Alabama, which is currently appealing an injunction on a similar law in federal court.

In April, the Alabama Legislature passed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Actwhich made it a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to perform surgeries or prescribe any transgender drugs to individuals under the age of 19.

U.S. District Judge Liles Burke put a partial block on the law in May, allowing the ban on surgeries to stay in place but preventing the state from banning medications. Burke also removed any criminal penalties for those who prescribe or provide the medication.

Attorney General Marshall was joined in the brief by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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