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Alabama cites Supreme Court abortion decision in transgender youth case


L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of Latest York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in Latest York City.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court abolished women’s constitutional right to abortion, Alabama has cited that ruling in a bid to outlaw parents from obtaining puberty blockers and certain other medical treatment for his or her transgender children.

The citation got here in an appeal by Alabama’s attorney general in search of to lift a federal court injunction that partially blocked enforcement of a newly enacted state ban on medical interventions for youth whose gender identity is at odds with their birth sex.

The appeal is believed to mark the primary time a state has expressly invoked the recent Supreme Court opinion overturning its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion and applied the identical reasoning to a separate issue bearing on other rights.

Echoing the high court’s language in striking down Roe, the Alabama appeal filed on Monday argued that the state has the authority to outlaw puberty-blocking hormones and other therapies for transgender minors partly because they usually are not “deeply rooted in our history or traditions.”

The appeal also asserted that such treatments are dangerous and experimental, contrary to broad agreement amongst mainstream medical and mental health professionals that such gender-affirming care saves lives by reducing the danger of depression and suicide.

Last Friday’s 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court’s conservative majority immediately paved the best way for varied states to enact measures erasing or restricting a girl’s ability to terminate her own pregnancy.

But civil liberties advocates have also frightened that the most recent abortion ruling, in a Mississippi case titled Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, would invite attempts by Republican-controlled legislatures to take aim at other rights that conservatives oppose.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, writing for almost all, said nothing within the Dobbs decision should “solid doubt on precedents that don’t concern abortion.”

Nevertheless, Justice Clarence Thomas, in a concurring opinion, urged the court to reconsider past rulings protecting the correct to contraception, legalizing gay marriage nationwide and invalidating state laws banning gay sex.

Constitutional foundation

The Alabama appeal in search of to revive its law barring parents for providing gender-transitioning medical care to their children appeared intended to attract just such a review, in response to LGBTQ rights proponents.

“That is the primary case, to our knowledge, wherein a state has invoked Dobbs to attack one other 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 realize much traction since the majority opinion was so clear that its holding was restricted to the correct to abortion.”

Alito sought to differentiate abortion from other established rights due to its implication for terminating what the Roe ruling termed “potential life.” But many legal scholars have noted that Dobbs calls into query the constitutional foundation for other rights later recognized by the court.

The Alabama law, passed by a Republican-dominated legislature, was blocked from enforcement in May, lower than per week after it went into effect, in a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Liles Burke, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump.

Burke held that higher court rulings made clear that oldsters have a right to direct the medical care of their children if it meets acceptable standards and that transgender individuals are protected against discrimination under federal law.

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

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