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The Indiana Daily Student

politics

Federal judge blocks Indiana law banning gender-affirming care for minors

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U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued a preliminary injunction Friday prohibiting Senate Enrolled Act 480, which bans Indiana physicians from providing gender-affirming care to minors, from taking effect July 1. 

In April, the Americal Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit challenging SEA 480, which bans gender-transition surgery, puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and certain surgical procedures for minors in Indiana. According to the lawsuit — which was filed on behalf of transgender youth, their families, a doctor and health care clinic Mosaic Health — the ACLU alleged SEA 480 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.  

[Related: Governor signs bill baning gender-affirming care for minors in Indiana]

The lawsuit also claimed SEA 480 prohibits medical services that would otherwise be authorized and reimbursed by Medicaid — a violation of federal requirements of the Medicaid Act and Affordable Care Act.  

“Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Indiana, their families and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender-affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic self, free from discrimination,” Ken Falk, the ACLU of Indiana Legal Director said in a press release

At an Indiana Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services hearing in February, Sen. Tyler Johnson, R-District 14, who authored the SEA 480, said the legislation would protect children from “irreversible, unproven and life altering procedures” until they were adults. 

The ACLU filed the lawsuit shortly after Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the legislation into law in April. In April, Holcomb issued a statement that he believes only adults should be prescribed gender-affirming care, according to the Indiana Daily Student.  

[Related: ACLU of Indiana challenging law prohibiting instruction on human sexuality]

The ACLU of Indiana is also currently challenging House Enrolled Act 1608, a law prohibiting Indiana teachers from teaching human sexuality in kindergarten through third grade, HEA 1608, signed by Holcomb in May, is set to take effect July 1.  

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