Bill would make prescribing puberty blocking drugs to minors a felony

Gender change bill

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alabama lawmakers are in Montgomery preparing for the third week of the legislative session.

One of the most viewed bills online, deals with child healthcare.

This bill specifically addresses children who are struggling with their gender identity.

If it passes, health care providers will not be allowed to prescribe puberty blocking drugs or sex-change hormones, or perform any type of gender change surgeries to someone under the age of 19.

“When I was 14 I thought a little different than I do now at 49, so we want to make sure to get them over the age of 19 and allow them to make adult decisions.,” State Representative, and sponsor of the bill, Wes Allen said.

“There is no age limit on knowing who you are and living your truth and your happiness,” said Lori Ellison, assistant director for Rocket City Pride.

Two very different view points, but both sides say their main concern is the health of Alabama’s children.

State Representative Wes Allen tells us there’s not enough studies available to show the long term effects these puberty blocking drugs can have.

“We don’t need to allow a 10 year old or an 11 year old the ability to determine at such a young age, life altering decisions by taking these power, powerful, and I cant state that enough how powerful these drugs are,” Allen said.

But Ellison tells us the puberty blocking drugs only put a pause on puberty.

“This essentially allows their body to not go through puberty during this time, and allows them to decide whether or not they want to fully transition later in life. If they decide that’s not for them, they stop taking the blockers, they go through puberty and they develop normally,” she explained.

Allen says the research shows 80 to 95 percent of children who struggle with their gender identity, end up growing out of it.

“There’s nothing to say that they can get their name changed, or dress the way the want to dress. The social change, or whatever. Just to make sure they can’t get on the drugs and do the surgeries. And that’s the thing we want to protect against,” Allen explained.

Ellison, says the bill is transphobic.

“It has everything to do with trying to prevent trans people from being able to capture and live out their identities,” she said.

It’s important to note that there are exceptions for youth going through puberty very early, who need to take drugs to slow it down.

This bill will be voted on soon.

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