MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Senate has passed a bill aimed at preventing minors from getting medications or treatments to change their genders.
Senate Bill 10, called the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, passed 23-4 Tuesday afternoon. It now goes to the House.
The bill makes it a felony for doctors to treat transgender minors with hormonal therapy, puberty blockers or surgery to help their transition.
Supporters of the bill said minors are not ready to make decisions like these at a young age.
“The primary concern here is the health and well-being of Alabama’s children,” said the bill’s sponsor, Shay Shelnutt, R-Trussville. “We must protect vulnerable minors who do not have the mental capacity to make life-altering decisions of this caliber. 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 say the decision should be between parents, the minor and a doctor. Several dozen protestors rallied outside the statehouse Tuesday speaking out against the bill.
Chris White is a parent of a 12-year-old transgender child from the Huntsville area. White said her daughter currently takes puberty blockers under the care of a physician.
“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.”
The House Judiciary Committee approved a similar bill last week. That bill is sponsored by Rep. Wes Allen, R-Troy.
The House bill is still waiting for a floor vote.