Appeals Court Greenlights Indiana’s Law Prohibiting Gender-Affirming Care For Minors

( – Gender-affirming care for minors is a divisive issue right now. Several states have passed laws that prohibit children from receiving such treatment. Indiana is one of those states, and its law was just greenlit by the appeals court.

Last year, Governor Eric Holcomb (R) signed Senate Bill 480 into law. The legislation prohibited doctors from performing procedures on children that would help them transition if they believed they were transgender. It also prohibited any other medical professional from doing it under the threat of civil action. The law also banned the use of puberty blockers and hormones.

Groups sued the state, and a lower court placed an injunction on the law to stop it from going into effect on July 1, 2023. The state appealed, and it went to the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. On February 27, a three-judge panel on the court lifted the injunction and allowed the law to take effect.

The ruling came about a week after the court heard oral arguments in the case. Lawyers for the state argued treatments were “uncertain and unsettled,” therefore they should not be allowed to be used on kids. The state also said the law was not discriminatory because it targeted medical treatments, not people. The judges did not offer an opinion when they lifted the ban, saying it would come in the future.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana issued a statement calling the decision by the court “beyond disappointing and a heartbreaking development for thousands of transgender youth, their doctors, and their families.” The civil rights organization represented the families in the case and said it was considering what steps to take next.

State Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) celebrated the panel’s decision, calling the law “commonsense” and saying the treatments were “dangerous and irreversible.”

Opponents of the law can now ask the full 7th Circuit Court to hear the case. They may also try to take it all the way to the Supreme Court.

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