Allen files bill to criminalize prescription of puberty-blockers, opposite gender hormones to minors

Published 3:28 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Rep. Wes Allen, R-Pike, has filed a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to prescribe puberty blocking medications or opposite gender hormones to minors.

The Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, HB 303would also ban hysterectomy, mastectomy or castration surgeries from being performed on minors.

“I was shocked when I found out doctors in Alabama were prescribing these types of drugs to children,” Allen said. “This is something you hear about happening in California or New York but it is happening right here in Alabama and it’s time we put a stop to that practice.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Allen referred to gender dysphoria as a psychological disorder and said that the children need therapeutic treatment from mental health professionals, not for their “bodies to be permanently mutilated.”

“Gender dysphoria is a real disorder. It’s listed in the DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association, which lists all recognized mental disorders,” Allen explained. “These children are suffering from a psychological disorder, just as someone who is suffering with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia but we treat those patients and try to help them. We should treat these psychological disorders as well.”

Puberty-inhibiting medications should be allowed to suppress puberty in children who begin the process too early in childhood, Allen said, but should not be used to block the natural puberty process.

Allen cited the use of puberty blocking medications and opposite gender hormones to have irreversible consequences including sterilization, liver disease and increased risk for cancer and said that the FDA has never approved the use of puberty-blocking medications for the treatment of gender dysphoria.

“These patients are children who have not reached physical or mental maturity,” Allen said. “It is irresponsible to permanently mutilate them at their request or at the request of their parents. We don’t allow minors to enter into contracts, buy alcohol or get a credit card because they aren’t capable of making those decisions and we should not allow them to do this either.”

Allen’s bill will be considered by the Alabama House of Representatives in the coming weeks.