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Indiana set to enforce ban on gender-affirming care for minors

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A federal appeals court allowed Indiana’s ban on gender-affirming care to go into effect, removing a temporary injunction U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued last year, Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Senate Bill 480, signed last year by Gov. Eric Holcomb, forbids doctors from performing gender reassignment surgery and prescribing medications like hormone therapy and puberty blockers to those under 18 years old.

The bill was slated to go into effect July 1, 2023, but Hanlon blocked the state from prohibiting minors’ access to hormone therapies and puberty blockers while allowing a ban on gender-affirming surgeries to take effect.

RELATED: ACLU sues over Indiana’s ban on ‘human sexuality’ instruction

“Indiana Pride of Color stands in solidarity with youth and families affected by Indiana’s reinstated ban on transgender health care for youth. INPOC is committed to the daily charge of creating a future where every individual regardless of their race, sexual orientation or gender feel as seen, of belonging and acceptance within the Hoosier State,” said Belinda Drake, president of Indiana Pride of Color.

Indiana’s ban on gender-affirming care

“We’ll continue to provide programming and resources that affirms and amplifies our LGBTQ+ community. We see you, and we are with you!”

Other groups have spoken out against the ban including Indiana Youth Group.

In a statement to the Indianapolis Recorder, the group said it stands with trans youth:

“The decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Indiana’s ban on gender affirming care for youth is as infuriating as it is heartbreaking. This law is harmful and damaging to the trans and nonbinary youth of Indiana.

We are so disappointed that the powers-that-be continue to attack and victimize this already marginalized and disenfranchised population of Hoosiers.”

Indiana Youth Group said they will stand in defiance of those who wish to do harm to their community’s young people. They serve to support trans, nonbinary and all gender expansive youth and their families however they can.

The ACLU of Indiana said in a statement that the decision was beyond disappointing.

Community reaction

“As we and our clients consider our next steps, we want all the transgender youth of Indiana to know this fight is far from over and we will continue to challenge this law until it is permanently defeated and Indiana is made a safer place to raise every family,” the statement said.

The ACLU of Indiana brought a lawsuit on behalf of a doctor and four youths undergoing gender-affirming treatments, arguing that the ban would violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees and tramples upon the right of parents to decide medical treatment for their children.

“We are proud to win this fight against the radicals who continue pushing this horrific practice on our children for ideological and financial reasons,” said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who represented the state’s medical licensing board in the case, on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Other states that have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming care for minors include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at (317) 762-7853 or by email JadeJ@IndyRecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON. 

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