The Alabama Senate has passed a new bill that would ban transgender treatments from being given to minors.
According to CBN News, the state Senate voted 23-4 to approve Senate Bill 10, also known as the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, last Tuesday.
The measure prohibits minors under the age of 19 from receiving puberty blockers as well as hormone therapy or transgender surgery. If passed, violators of the bill could face up to 10 years in prison.
Advocates of the bill contended that minors are unequipped to make such a life-altering decision at a young age.
Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville), who sponsored the bill, told WFSA-TV that the main concern over the measure “is the health and well-being of Alabama’s children”.
“We must protect vulnerable minors who do not have the mental capacity to make life-altering decisions of this caliber,” he continued. “The efficacy and effects of these particular surgeries and methods of treatment are not well-sustained by medical evidence, and actions of this severity cannot be undone.”
Opponents of the bill such as Sen. Bobby Singleton, a Democratic senator from Greensboro, argued that the decision is unfair to families of transgender children.
"We are infringing on the ability of families to make that decision," Singleton said.
He added that lawmakers are inserting themselves into medical decisions.
Protestors, including parents, rallied outside the statehouse on Tuesday in opposing the bill.
A father of a 12-year-old transgender child told WFSTA-TV that his daughter is currently taking puberty blockers under a physician’s care.
“It is proven that gender-affirming therapy reduces the suicide rate of transgender children significantly,” White said. “And that’s why I’m here. So I want to make sure my daughter is confident in who she is and allowed to be who she is.”
Alabama is one of at least eight states where measures prohibiting transgender treatments for minor are being pushed by conservative lawmakers. They contend that minors should wait until adulthood to make the decision.
The bill has moved to the Alabama House of Representatives where a committee has approved a similar bill.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.