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ACLU files lawsuit challenging bill banning transgender medical procedures for minors


Daily Caller News Foundation

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Kentucky filed a lawsuit Wednesday to challenge a bill that bans minors from having access to transgender medical procedures, according to the lawsuit.

Senate Bill 150, in addition to prohibiting medical professionals from offering services to minors to “alter the appearance or perception of the minor’s sex,” the law also compels schools to inform parents if their child requests a pronoun change and bars students below sixth grade from learning about “human sexuality.” The bill was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear but then overturned by the legislature, prompting the state’s ACLU branch to file a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to stop the bill before it goes into effect in June.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the bill’s section prohibiting doctors from offering transgender medical procedures to minors “will cause severe and irreparable harm.”

“If the Ban goes into effect, it will have devastating consequences for the transgender Plaintiffs, their families, and other transgender adolescents and their families in Kentucky,” the ACLU argues. “The Ban will deprive the transgender Plaintiffs and other transgender adolescents of medical care that their doctors and parents agree is medically necessary. Untreated gender dysphoria is associated with severe psychological and emotional harm including anxiety, depression, and suicidality.”

The lawsuit lists Dr. William Thornbury, president of the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, Audriaa Denker R.N., president of the Kentucky Board of Nursing and Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, as defendants. The ACLU is representing seven families with transgender children, all anonymous and under the age of 18, who are reportedly “receiving medically necessary care that will be prohibited by the ban,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that denying “transgender youth” the ability to obtain such medical procedures or “attempting to change the person’s gender identity to match their birth sex” would increase their risk of suicidality. Some experts have refuted these claims, however, arguing that the numbers for transgender suicide risk appear high because the studies are based on self-reporting and not objective data analysis.

The ACLU, Thornbury, Denker and Friedlander did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

ACLU of Kentucky’s Communications Director Angela Cooper told the Daily Caller News Foundation that Senate bill 150 is an “egregious example of government overreach.”

“Senate Bill 150 is an egregious example of government overreach by inserting lawmakers between doctors and patients and violating the fundamental rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children,” Cooper said. “For the families in this lawsuit, their very well-being is at stake. Laws like this are being filed, and fought, across the country, when all these families want is to be left to live their lives and make their own medical decisions, with the advice of trained medical professionals.”

The ACLU, Thornbury, Denker and Friedlander did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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