Appeals court allows Indiana’s controversial prohibition on gender-affirming care for kids to take effect

On February 28th, a federal appeals court granted permission for Indiana to implement a contentious restriction on gender-affirming medical treatment for individuals under the age of 18.

Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed Senate Bill 480 into law almost a year ago. This law prohibits doctors from performing transition procedures on minors or assisting other medical professionals in doing so, with the risk of facing civil action.

The ban was originally scheduled to take effect on July 1. However, a lower court issued an injunction a month earlier, which allowed minors to continue accessing gender-affirming medicine while the legal battle continued.

The stay on the ban was lifted by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, allowing for its enforcement.

After listening to oral arguments on February 16th, the court made its ruling and stated that the decision would be released at a later time.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana expressed deep disappointment and sadness over this ruling, which they described as a heartbreaking development for thousands of transgender youth, their doctors, and their families. The ACLU was the organization that initially filed the lawsuit against the ban.

“We want to assure the transgender youth of Indiana that this battle is far from over. As we and our clients contemplate our next moves, we remain steadfast in our commitment to challenge this law until it is permanently overturned. Our ultimate goal is to create a safer environment in Indiana where every family can thrive.”

According to the Movement Advancement Project, at least 23 states have implemented bans or limitations on minors receiving gender-affirming medicine.

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Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita expressed his joy over the court’s ruling on Tuesday, hailing S.B. 480 as a “standard state law.”

“We are delighted to have emerged victorious in our battle against the radicals who persist in subjecting our children to this abhorrent practice for both ideological and financial motives,” he exclaimed enthusiastically on X.

The University of California, Los Angeles’ Williams Institute reports that in Indiana, there are approximately 4,100 individuals between the ages of 13 and 17 who identify as transgender. This accounts for less than 1% of the state’s population.

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