Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed into law measures that aim to protect children in her state by banning genital mutilation as part of sex-change operations on youth who suffer from gender dysphoria and the teaching of sexual orientation to elementary school students.
Ivey, a Republican, signed the bills on Friday, one day after the Biden administration condemned the state's laws as “discriminatory.”
Senate Bill 184, also known as the "Vulnerable Child Protection Act," and House Bill 322 deal with controversial LGBT-related issues. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature approved both bills mostly along party lines.
The Vulnerable Child Protection Act bans state employees as well as employees of public school districts from “prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying puberty blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty,” “performing surgeries that sterilize,” “performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s biological sex” and “removing any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.” A violation of this section of the law constitutes a Class C felony.
House Bill 322 requires “public K-12 schools to designate the use of rooms where students may be in various stages of undress upon the basis of biological sex.” Students must use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex instead of their chosen gender identity.
Additionally, the measure will prohibit those teaching students in kindergarten through fifth grade from engaging in “classroom instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Ivey defended her signing of the bills in a Twitter thread Saturday.
“I signed two bills into law to protect our kids in Alabama,” she said. “The first bill makes clear — boys will only use the boys’ bathroom and ladies will only use the ladies’ bathroom. That’s Alabama common sense.” She offered similar praise for the second bill: “Here in Alabama, we’re going to go by how God made us: If the Good Lord made you a boy, you’re a boy, and if he made you a girl, you’re a girl. It’s simple.”
I signed two bills into law to protect our kids in Alabama. The first bill makes clear — boys will only use the boys’ bathroom and ladies will only use the ladies’ bathroom. That’s Alabama common sense. https://t.co/uhB7d1bJ5M— Kay Ivey (@kayiveyforgov) April 9, 2022
“Enough of this woke radical nonsense that preys on our kids. We’re going to focus on protecting our kids and keeping our schools focused on being a place where students learn the fundamentals,” Ivey added. “This follows what we’ve already done to protect girls’ sports in Alabama — girls play sports with girls and boys play sports with boys. Just more Alabama common sense.”
At a press briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki slammed Alabama’s Republican lawmakers for passing legislation that she claimed would “target trans youth with tactics that threatens to put pediatricians in prison if they provide medically necessary, lifesaving healthcare for the kids they serve.”
Psaki also warned that “Alabama’s lawmakers and other legislators who are contemplating these discriminatory bills have been put on notice by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services.”
“Laws and policies preventing care that healthcare professionals recommend for transgender minors may violate the Constitution and federal law,” Psaki said.
Although Psaki claimed that “every major medical association agrees that gender-affirming healthcare” for children with gender dysphoria is a “best practice and potentially lifesaving,” the American College of Pediatricians has called the effectiveness and safety of “puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth” into question.
The American College of Pediatricians says “there is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy” of such practices. The medical organization further warned that puberty blockers can cause side effects such as “osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility.” It also found potential side effects of cross-sex hormones to include “an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers.”
While Psaki did not explicitly address House Bill 322 in her remarks last week, its passage comes as Florida continues to face backlash from the LGBT community due to the enactment of similar legislation derided by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”
The Florida bill will ban school officials from discussing matters related to sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. The Alabama bill will extend the prohibition on such discussions through fifth grade.
Alabama is not the only state where elected officials have expressed opposition to the push to perform life-altering surgeries on youth with gender dysphoria. Last year, the Republican-controlled Arkansas legislature passed a law banning the prescription of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors over the objection of the state’s Republican governor.
Six months after the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services characterized gender transition surgeries for minors as a form of child abuse, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion assigning the label of child abuse to the procedures. Most recently, Arizona’s Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a measure that “delays any irreversible gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18” late last month.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org