Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Friday signed a bill banning “gender transition” procedures for children and a bill, modeled after Florida's Parental Rights in Education law, that cracks down on LGBT ideology in elementary school classrooms.
SB 184, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Protection Act, criminalizes prescribing minors under the age of 19 puberty blockers or other drugs “intended to change a minor child's gender or delay puberty.”
“There are very real challenges facing our young people, especially with today’s societal pressures and modern culture. I believe very strongly that if the Good Lord made you a boy, you are a boy, and if he made you a girl, you are a girl,” Gov. Ivey said in a statement.
The bill also bans sterilizing surgeries for minors, including “castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy,” as well as procedures that “artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s sex.”
Doctors who prescribe “gender transition” drugs to kids or perform mutilating transgender surgeries on them can face felony charges and up to ten years of jail time under the new law.
The bill additionally blocks school officials from withholding a child’s gender confusion from his or her parents.
“We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries, when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life,” Ivey said on Friday. “Instead, let us all focus on helping them to properly develop into the adults God intended them to be.”
SB 184 will take effect 30 days after the Governor's signature. Multiple pro-LGBT activist groups, including the Transgender Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, have said they will sue to block the law's implementation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the Biden administration has put Alabama “on notice” that SB 184 could violate federal law as the administration interprets it. Governor Ivey responded in a statement to Breitbart that “Alabama will continue protecting our kids and not letting out-of-state liberals like Jen Psaki and the Biden White House tell us what to do.”
Another bill (HB 322) Ivey signed requires students in kindergarten through 12 to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their biological sex. “Here in Alabama, men use the men's restroom, and ladies use the ladies’ room — it really is a no-brainer,” the governor said.
Republican lawmakers included a provision prohibiting classroom discussions about “sexual orientation or gender identity” that are “not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The governor exclaimed, “We are talking about five-year-olds, for crying out loud,” the governor exclaimed.
More and more states are speaking out against the transition of children
Alabama joins a growing list of states taking action against experimental pediatric “gender transitions,” including Arkansas. That law was temporarily blocked by a federal judge, but Republican lawmakers have advanced similar bills across the country in recent months, including in Texas, Idaho, and Mississippi.
Tennessee has also restricted access to hormone drugs for prepubescent children, and in Arizona the governor signed a law last week banning underage “sex change” surgeries.
This avalanche of state measures comes in a context of international recognition of the harmful effects of transgender procedures on children and adolescents.
In February, Sweden advised against the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for gender-confused minors, citing “uncertain science” and significant health risks.
Alabama law notes that “gender transition” drugs and surgeries are “unproven” and “poorly studied” … with “numerous harmful effects for minors, as well as risks of effects simply unknown due to the new and experimental nature of these interventions.”
Both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are linked to extremely serious side effects, including sterilization: “Among the known harms from puberty blockers is diminished bone density; the full effects of puberty blockers on brain development and cognition are yet unknown, though reason for concern is now present.”
Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — responsible for approving drugs for market — has not approved any hormone drugs for “gender nonconforming children,” the Alabama law points out. Neither puberty blockers nor cross-sex hormones have been subjected to randomized controlled trials or longitudinal studies in gender-confused minors.
Finally, studies show that as few as 2% of boys and 10% of girls with gender dysphoria suffer from the condition after puberty, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.