Alabama lawmaker files bill to protect children from gender reassignment treatments

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A new bill in Alabama would make it illegal for doctors to prescribe puberty blocking medications or opposite gender hormones to minors. The proposed legislation would also ban radical surgeries, such as hysterectomies, mastectomies or castrations, from being performed on minor children. 

Troy- Republican, State Rep. Wes Allen filed HB 303: the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (VCPA) in the Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday. The legislation would make it a Class C felony that punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“I was shocked when I found out doctors in Alabama were prescribing these types of drugs to children,” Allen said. “This is something you hear about happening in California or New York but it is happening right here in Alabama and it’s time we put a stop to that practice.”

Allen recognizes there are children who are struggling with psychological disorders, such as gender dysphoria that causes them to be confused about their gender identity but he believes that we should help those children with therapeutic treatment from qualified mental health professionals, not allow these children’s bodies to be permanently mutilated.

Gender dysphoria is a real disorder. It’s listed in the DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, which lists all recognized mental disorders,” Allen explained. “These children are suffering from a psychological disorder, just as someone who is suffering with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia but we treat those patients and try to help them. We should treat these psychological disorders as well.”

The legislation also requires that parents be notified by school officials if those officials learn that a child has gender dysphoria.

Allen noted many of the puberty blocking medications and opposite gender hormones being prescribed to Alabama children have irreversible consequences including sterilization, liver disease and increased risk for cancer. Allen further explained that the FDA has never approved the use of puberty blocking medications for the treatment of gender dysphoria.

“These patients are children who have not reached physical or mental maturity,” he added. “It is irresponsible to permanently mutilate them at their request or at the request of their parents. We don’t allow minors to enter into contracts, buy alcohol or get a credit card because they aren’t capable of making those decisions and we should not allow them to do this either.”

On Friday, the conservative Eagle Forum of Alabama came out in support of Allen’s legislation.

“We support this bill because it protects vulnerable children who are suffering from gender dysphoria from irreversible medical procedures that will alter their bodies for life,” said  Eunie Smith, President of Eagle Forum. “The brain’s frontal lobe that is responsible for emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors is not fully developed until age 25. Therefore, many minors are making life-altering decisions which may render them sterile for life, cause serious bone loss, and decreased cognitive development from hormone therapy. Other harmful effects are not fully known. Children must be helped; not harmed.”

At least six states nationwide have introduced similar “vulnerable child” legislation in the 2020 legislation session.Sen. Shay Shellnut has introduced a companion bill, SB 219, in the Alabama Senate.

Allen’s bill will be considered by the Alabama House of Representatives in the coming weeks.