Indiana bans healthcare for trans youth effective immediately

The bill comes into effect immediately. (Stock image/Getty)

The Seventh Court of Appeals has lifted an injunction blocking Indiana’s gender-affirming healthcare ban, allowing the ban to take place immediately. 

Senate Bill 480 prohibits medical providers from providing life-saving gender-affirmation treatment to individuals under 18 years of age. It also prohibits aiding or abetting another physician or practitioner in the provision of gender-affirming procedures to a minor. 

The law was originally set to take effect on 1 July 2023, but a federal district court granted a request for a preliminary injunction against the bill in June 2023. A lawsuit was brought forward by four trans youths and their families, as well as a doctor and a healthcare clinic.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has responded to the ban, calling it “beyond disappointing” for those in the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.

“This ruling is beyond disappointing and a heartbreaking development for thousands of transgender youth, their doctors, and their families,” the organisation said in a statement. 

“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.”

It comes after a Republican member who voted for the ban also introduced a bill allowing children to drop out of school and work full-time on farms.

State representative Joanna King introduced a bill on 8 January that would change child labour laws in the state to allow children to drop out of school after 8th grade (typically 14 to 15 years old) and work full-time on farms, LGBTQ Nation reported.

The bill would reportedly allow children to begin working 40 hours a week during school hours on both family and corporate farms, despite Human Rights Watch describing agriculture as the “deadliest work sector” for child workers in the US.

The introduced bill follows several recent attempts to relax child labour laws across the US, with a Florida Republican filing a bill to allow minors to work full-time and overnight in September 2023. 

Civil rights attorney Alejandra Caraballo criticised the bill – which has not yet passed – while anti-LGBTQ+ laws continue to pass in the state.

“In DeSantis Florida, teens can work hazardous jobs full-time, but it’s illegal to teach them that LGBTQ+ people exist,” Caraballo said. “It’s not about protecting children.”

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