From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
MONTGOMERY — State Senator Shay Shelnutt, of Trussville, introduced a bill on Thursday that would prohibit, with some exceptions, administering gender altering drugs to, or performing sex change operations on, minors.
The bill, SB 219, would prohibit the performance of a medical procedure or the prescription or issuance of medication, upon or to a minor child, that is intended to alter the minor child’s gender or delay puberty.
Performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual’s biological sex or removing healthy body parts would also be prohibited.
If passed, the bill would criminalize anyone who violated the law.
“I was shocked to find out this was happening in Alabama,” Shelnutt said. “I was even more shocked to find out that it was taking place in Birmingham.”
According to the bill, the long-term effects and safety of the administration of puberty-blocking medications and cross sex hormones to gender incongruent children have not been rigorously studied. Absent rigorous studies showing their long-term safety and positive benefits, their continued administration to children constitutes dangerous and uncontrolled human medical experimentation that may result in grave and irreversible consequences to their physical and mental health.
Shelnutt said he decided to sponsor the bill along with senators Jim McClendon and Gerald Allen after consulting with medical professionals.
“I’ve talked to physicians, psychiatrists, pediatricians and a lot of people that just have common sense,” Shelnutt said. “The long term consequences could ruin a child’s life before they even get old enough to fully understand what they’re doing. We don’t even allow anyone under 18 to get a tattoo in Alabama, but we’re allowing this.”
Studies have shown that a substantial majority of pre-pubescent children who claim a gender identity different from their biological sex will ultimately identify with their biological sex by young adulthood or sooner when supported through their natural puberty, according to the bill.
Shelnutt said the bill would provide exceptions for legitimate medical needs.
The exceptions would be for children born with a sexual development disorder or children who do not have normal sex chromosome structure.