The Alabama senate has passed a bill to make it a felony for doctors to perform or prescribe gender-altering treatment to children under 19.
Alabama state senators voted 22-3 to approve the bill.
Rep. Wes Allen of Troy and Sen. Shay Shelnutt of Trussville are the sponsors of the bill, called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act.
Per AL, the Alabama House Health Committee approved Allen’s late February after 10 people spoke at a public hearing on the measure, five in favor and five against. They included medical professionals on both sides and people with first-hand experiences on both sides.
WashingtonExaminer reports Alabama’s Senate passed a bill that would make it a felony for doctors in the state to perform or prescribe gender-altering treatments on children under 19.
“I just don’t think, and others don’t think, that kids should be given experimental drugs or surgeries that could have irreversible consequences for the rest of their life,” state Sen. Shay Shelnutt, who introduced the bill, said.
The Republican-led state Senate passed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act on last week in a 22-3 vote. The bill will now move to the state’s House of Representatives, which has already passed a similar bill.
“Kids are not fully developed until later in life,” Shelnutt said. “I think we can all agree that kids aren’t capable of making certain decisions until certain ages. And so, we want to just stop these procedures from happening in Alabama.”
The bill would make performing vasectomies, castrations, hysterectomies, or prescribing puberty blockers to minors a Class C felony, even with parental consent. The felony conviction could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Gay and transgender advocacy group the Human Rights Fund opposed the bill, saying it is discriminatory against children who identify as transgender. Nonprofit organization the Yellowhammer Fund, which helps women in the state obtain abortions, also opposed the legislation.
“We call on the House to treat trans children and their families with more empathy than the state senate and reject this bill as the harmful, divisive legislation it is,” Yellowhammer Fund policy director Mia Raven said.
Republicans control Alabama’s Senate, House, and governorship.