The Alabama Senate passed Senate Bill 10, or the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act,” March 2, which would prohibits transgender minors from receiving surgical, hormonal and puberty blocker treatments, and create penalties for people who try to help minors, leading to mass opposition from the medical and transgender community.
“This is a threat against the confidentiality between patients and healthcare providers,” said Dr. Hussein Abdul-Latif, a professor at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. “It’s an inquisition that also encroaches on parental rights.”
In addition to not allowing treatments for transgender minors, the bill makes it a Class C felony for any individual that violates this law to help promote the desired change for these minors, according to the state bill.
The bill has been sent to the Alabama House, where the House Judiciary Committee approved a similar piece of legislation in Febuary, and is pending the committee’s response.
“It is basically telling parents that the government knows how to raise your kids better than you can,” Abdul-Latif said.
Dr. Morrisa Ladinsky, an associate professor at Children’s hospital, said this bill threatens many healthcare physicians over misconceptions brought about by treatments done for transgender minors.
“The bill would forbid the performance of medical procedures that would alter the appearance of a minor’s gender,” Ladinsky said. “However, there has never been or ever will be someone that will perform gender affirming surgery on someone under the age of legal decision making.”
Ladinsky said this is misinformation, and that no acting insurance company would help cover for that procedure and no physician would perform that as well.
“Regarding puberty blockers and hormone treatments,” Ladinsky said, “they both are given to transgender minors at different stages of their early life.”
Ladinsky said puberty blockers have been used for children who start puberty to early, and when they turn around 11 years old they are able to stop taking them and within months puberty starts back. Ladinsky said that puberty blockers have been in use for over 30 years and are reversible upon stopping treatments.
“When given to transgender minors,” Ladinsky said, “all it does is put puberty on hold till the minor is ready to decide what they choose to experience when it comes to puberty.”
Ladinsky said that around the ages of 15-16 is when minors are given the choice to receive hormone treatment.
“It is a long procedure where minors will have to complete various objectives in order to receive hormones,” Ladinsky said. “It is a fabled myth that minors can just walk into a hospital and ask to change their gender. It is a group process between the minor, parent, and physician.”
While the bill is meant to help minors, Natalia Moore, a transgender woman in the Birmingham area, said the bill is hurtful to transgender people.
“The bill is terrifying,” Moore said. “It establishes criminal penalties for anyone that violates this law, it seems vindictive and beyond ridiculous.”
Moore said that people who decide to explore their gender in this way should not be mandated by the government on what they can and can not do.
“To explore and be curious is the journey of life,” Moore said. “While there are some irreversible effects due to hormones, they are very few, such as a deeper voice or the forming of breasts.”
Moore said that the bill will harm a lot of people over the entire state if it is passed by the Alabama House.
“This bill will seek to harm people, it seeks to harm these children, it seeks to harm loving parents, and it seeks to harm physicians that want to help,” Moore said. “This bill is not meant to help people. It is designed to hurt people.”