DOJ challenges Alabama law criminalizing some treatments for trans minors
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DOJ challenges Alabama law criminalizing some treatments for trans minors

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Friday filed a complaint challenging an Alabama law that criminalizes some medical treatments for transgender youth.

The DOJ stated Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (VCCPA) “denies necessary medical care to children based solely on who they are” and threatens criminal action against doctors, parents, or others who provide such care. It alleges the law’s felony ban on certain medically necessary care violates the Fourteenth Amendment and asks for an immediate order stopping the law from taking effect.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall Friday stated that the Biden administration had “chosen to prioritize leftist politics” over Alabama’s children but that “science and common sense” were on Alabama’s side, reiterating the supporters of the VCCPA would “win this fight to protect our children.”

The VCCPA, signed into law by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on April 8, 2022, prohibits persons from “engag[ing] in or caus[ing]” the prescription or administration of puberty-blocking medication, testosterone or estrogen hormones, surgeries that sterilize, sex reassignment surgeries to genitalia, and chest reconstruction surgery if such “practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor’s perception of his or her gender or sex if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex as defined in this act.” Conviction under the Act is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $15,000.00.

On March 31, the Civil Rights Division sent letters to the attorneys general of all states to “remind them of federal constitutional and statutory provisions that protect transgender youth against discrimination.”

The DOJ’s challenge appears to be in favor of a federal lawsuit to block the VCCPA. The suit was filed in April by the families of two transgender children and two doctors.