Alabama cites Supreme Court ruling on abortion in transgender youth case

June 30 (Reuters) – Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, Alabama cited the ruling in a bid to ban parents from getting blockers puberty and certain other medical treatments for their transgender children.

The citation came in an appeal by the Alabama attorney general seeking to lift a federal court injunction that partially blocked enforcement of a recently enacted state ban on medical procedures for young people with gender identities. contradicts their sex at birth.

The appeal is believed to mark the first time a state has expressly invoked the Supreme Court’s recent opinion reversing its Roe v. Wade’s 1973 legalizing abortion and applies the same reasoning to a separate question about other rights.

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Echoing High Court language in Roe’s reversal, Alabama’s appeal filed Monday argued that the state has the power to ban puberty-blocking hormones and other therapies for minors. transgender in part because they are not “deeply rooted in our history or traditions.”

The appeal also claimed that these treatments are dangerous and experimental, contrary to a broad consensus among medical and mental health professionals that such gender-affirming care saves lives by reducing the risk of depression and suicide. .

Last Friday’s 5-4 ruling by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority immediately paved the way for many states to pass measures erasing or restricting a woman’s ability to terminate her own pregnancy. Read more

But civil liberties advocates also worry that the latest abortion ruling, in a Mississippi case titled Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, will invite Republican-controlled legislatures to target other rights that conservatives are vexing. oppose.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said nothing in the Dobbs decision should “cast doubt on precedents that do not relate to abortion.”

However, Judge Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, urged the court to reconsider previous rulings protecting the right to contraception, legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide and invalidating state laws banning gay sex.


Alabama’s call to reinstate its law barring parents from providing gender transition medical care to their children seemed destined to spark such scrutiny, LGBTQ rights advocates say.

“This is the first instance, to our knowledge, in which a state has invoked Dobbs to attack another fundamental right,” Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said in an email to Reuters on Thursday.

Still, Minter said Alabama’s strategy was “unlikely to gain traction because majority opinion was so clear that its position was limited to abortion rights.”

Alito sought to distinguish abortion from other established rights because of its involvement in ending what the Roe decision called “potential life.” But many legal scholars have noted that Dobbs questions the constitutional basis of other rights later recognized by the court. Read more

The Alabama law, passed by a Republican-dominated legislature, was blocked in May, less than a week after it took effect, in a preliminary injunction issued by US District Judge Liles Burke, appointed by the former Republican President Donald Trump. Read more

Burke argued that superior court decisions made it clear that parents had the right to direct their children’s medical care if doing so met acceptable standards and that transgender people were protected from discrimination under federal law.

Burke left in place the part of the law prohibiting sex-modification surgeries, which experts say are extremely rare for minors, and other provisions prohibiting school officials from keeping certain information about the child secret. gender identity of parents.

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Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Robert Birsel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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