A proposed ban on gender-affirming healthcare for Alabama trans youth died in the state’s House of Representatives on Monday night after the state’s legislative session ended without the bill being put to a vote.
According to AL.com, the bill, which already passed in the state Senate, basically ran out the clock on Alabama’s regular legislative session, which ended Monday night. State Representatives voted on a number of bills all the way up to midnight, but the bill targeting trans youth healthcare, SB10, didn’t come up for a vote before the session adjourned. The main reason for this is that SB10 was scheduled as the last bill to be debated. The state’s Republican-led House Rules Committee set that schedule ahead of Monday’s session.
Regardless of circumstances, advocates and members of Alabama’s trans community celebrated the bill’s failure. “This important victory is the result of trans people and their families mobilizing to defend this life-saving medical care in Alabama and around the country,” ACLU deputy director for trans justice Chase Strangio said in a statement.
SB10, also known as the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, would have made providing puberty blockers and surgeries for trans individuals under 19-years-old a felony offense punishable by up to ten years in prison under Alabama law. The bill passed in the state Senate for the second consecutive year in March. It didn’t go to a state House vote either year.
The bill contains similar language to the Arkansas bill that passed into law after state lawmakers voted to override Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of the bill. Hutchinson pointed to the bill’s overreaching interference with medical professionals and parents’ ability to make personal decisions regarding the treatment of trans youth, including those already receiving gender-affirming care in Arkansas.
“While the Alabama Legislature avoided passing this poorly designed bill, and we should all celebrate this victory for transgender people, for human rights, and for the state of Alabama, we know that this is not the last attack we will see on the transgender community. We cannot become complacent,” said ACLU of Alabama staff attorney Kaitlin Welborn.
Though SB10 met its demise, Alabama’s bill banning trans girls from participating on sports teams as their identified gender did successfully pass earlier in the legislative session. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the trans-exclusionary bill into law last month.
Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan/Creative Commons