Alabama Weighs Bill Requiring Schools to Out Transgender Kids to Parents

The Alabama state Senate earlier this month passed a bill that would criminalize the performing of gender-affirming care and procedures on minors, and would also require schools to inform parents of new information regarding their child's gender identity that is expressed in school.

"The sex of a person is the biological state of being female or male, based on sex organs, chromosomes, and endogenous hormone profiles, and is genetically encoded into a person at the moment of conception, and it cannot be changed," an early section of Senate Bill 184 reads.

Several other states, including Texas and Idaho, have passed or introduced similar measures in recent weeks that would either prohibit anyone from providing transgender services to children or would bar parents from taking minors to another state to receive such treatments.

Under the bill that is now in the Alabama House, the prescription or administration of hormone-blocking medications that can halt puberty or other gender reassignment hormone treatments would be a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, WHNT-TV reported.

The bill provides an exception if such treatment would resolve an otherwise "irresolvably ambiguous" characteristics that someone was born with, such as a child being born with both testicular and ovarian tissue.

"It's devastating for trans youth," Trans Family Support Services Executive Director Kathie Moehlig told WHNT. "To have your rights taken away for medically necessary care that doctors and professionals agree is necessary and your family is in alignment that this is important care for my child and their life and wellbeing. It's devastating to think that a politician can take that away from us in this country."

The bill also claims that "numerous studies" have shown that most children who experience and vocalize thoughts and feelings of not aligning with their gender assigned at birth will "outgrow" those feelings and eventually "have an identity that aligns with their sex."

Last summer, the American Medical Association released a statement that opposed the "governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine" as several states were considering placing restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender people.

The AMA cited studies and statistics that have shown support and access to such care is important for transgender people, especially young people, as restricting the care can lead to increased rates of stress, anxiety and suicide.

Experts, including at the Mayo Clinic, have said that the use of treatments like puberty-blocking drugs simply temporarily slow the process of puberty and are meant to give a child and their family time to decide what the future of that person's gender identity should be.

The Mayo Clinic said that use of the blockers can reduce stress that a child going through puberty may feel when they see normal signs of puberty taking place like facial hair or breast growth that does not align with their gender identity.

Supporters of the Alabama bill have echoed the claims of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, calling some gender-affirming care for minors "child abuse."

Update 3/16/22, 12:07 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information.

Alabama Transgender Minors Schools Healthcare
Alabama lawmakers are considering a bill that would criminalize gender-affirming care for minors and would require schools to inform parents of information related to their child's gender identity if it is discussed in school. Above, trans pride flags are seen at a gathering to celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, March 31, 2017, at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images