Hearing begins for transgender medical lawsuit

Some families and doctors want to block a new law that makes it crime for doctors to treat...
Some families and doctors want to block a new law that makes it crime for doctors to treat trans youth under 19 with puberty blockers or hormones.(WBRC)
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The legal challenge against the state over the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act has started. This is the law that makes it a felony for doctors to provide gender-affirming medical care to transgender children.

The first step for the lawsuit against the act is on the motion filed by the plaintiffs asking the judge to block this law before it goes into effect on Sunday.

There are a couple of possible outcomes of the hearings.

If the court decides this law should be blocked, it will not go into effect on Sunday, and the rest of the lawsuit will progress, which could take years.

The other scenario is that the law will be upheld and begin Sunday. This means doctors would have to stop providing gender-affirming care, such as hormone treatments to minors, or be charged with a felony. Plaintiffs could ask for a stay but that could also take years.

Trace Trice and her transgender son, Phin, are not directly involved in the case but the weight of waiting she says has caused tremendous amounts of anger and stress.

“He should be allowed to be just a 17-year-old boy who is thinking about a summer job and what he’s going to be doing with his friends the summer,” said Trice. “Not thinking about, am I going to have access to my medicine? You know, is someone going to try to take one more piece of my rights away?”

Representative Neil Rafferty-D, Jefferson County, was against this legislation when it was in the statehouse. He hopes the court’s decision is different than what happened during the legislative session.

“The courts are not supposed to be political. But I would urge the court to look at the humanity of the impact of these laws. And the jurisprudence and what the implications of this law mean for the future of parental rights in dictating and deciding what is best for their child,” said Rafferty.

Attorney General Steve Marshall was not available for comment. He and other Republican leaders in the state have said they believe this law is important to protect these children who they say are too young to make these decisions.

A decision is expected by the weekend.

We reached out to other supporters of the law, and they were not available for comment.

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