Children in Alabama schools will be using bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological sex, and state employees and school officials are forbidden from providing students gender-altering therapies. It’s what Gov. Kay Ivey calls “Alabama common sense.”
The governor signed the two bills into law this month, each aiming to protect children from radical agendas that parents around the country have been concerned about. Both bills passed mainly along party lines in Alabama’s Republican-controlled legislature.
Gov. Ivey defended the two bills in a Twitter thread. “I signed two bills into law to protect our kids in Alabama,” she said. “The first bill makes clear – boys will only use the boys’ bathroom and ladies will only use the ladies’ bathroom. That’s Alabama common sense.”
For the other bill, she offered another straight-forward response: “Here in Alabama, we’re going to go by how God made us: If the Good Lord made you a boy, you’re a boy, and if he made you a girl, you’re a girl. It’s simple.”
Senate Bill 184, dubbed the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” prohibits state employees as well as public school employees from “prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying puberty blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty,” “performing surgeries that sterilize,” “performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s biological sex” and “removing any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.” Violators of this law would be hit with a Class C felony.
House Bill 322 ensures that “public K-12 schools…designate the use of rooms where students may be in various stages of undress upon the basis of biological sex.” In other words, instead of using restrooms based on “gender identity,” students will use the facilities that align with their biological sex.
The bill also prohibits teachers from discussing or generating discussion “regarding sexual orientation or gender identity in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” The age-appropriate level in Alabama excludes students through 5th grade, two grades beyond Florida’s similar law passed last month.
“Enough of this woke radical nonsense that preys on our kids. We’re going to focus on protecting our kids and keeping our schools focused on being a place where students learn the fundamentals,” Ivey explained on Twitter. “This follows what we’ve already done to protect girls’ sports in Alabama – girls play sports with girls and boys play sports with boys.”
A day before the bills were signed, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki complained that the bills would “target trans youth.” She also sounded a “warning” to Alabama that the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services were putting them “on notice” for their “discriminatory” bills.
Psaki said denying such procedures could be a violation of federal law and asserted that puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender reassignment surgeries are “best practice” lifesavers and that every major medical association backs that claim.
However, the American College of Pediatricians disagrees.
The ACP points to studies suggesting puberty blockers may actually cause mental illness and permanent physical harm, while the cross-sex hormones disrupt mental health and put youth at an increased risk for “heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, blood clots and cancers across their lifespan.”
The ACP also calls these interventions experimental and dangerous, and says they have no scientific basis for reducing suicides – a far cry from Psaki’s description of “lifesaving.”
“World renowned Swedish psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Gillberg has said that pediatric transition is ‘possibly one of the greatest scandals in medical history’ and called for ‘an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects,” according to a statement on the ACP website.
Other states fighting back against these drastic “gender-corrective treatments” have drawn criticism from the Biden administration. Arkansas passed a law banning the prescription of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to minors last year, while Texas moved to classify such procedures as child abuse. And last month Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that “delays any irreversible gender reassignment surgery until the age of 18.”