by Georgia Kirkendall
Currently taking place in the South, , there has been a recent push towards laws that directly violate the U.S. Constitution, and yet are inexplicably making headway. The most prominent headlines refer to the overturn of Roe v. Wade, and for a deeper understanding of the current acts against female reproductive rights, see The Dial’s article “Why We Should Care About Overturning Roe v. Wade.”
However, there is another conservative movement that is also intimidating. Recently in Alabama, a law went into effect making it illegal to give or support medical treatment that influences gender change for people under the age of 19, with a penalty of up to ten years in prison. Thankfully, the law is not set in stone, as there is a pending lawsuit against it from the Human Rights Campaign and LGBTQ+ Legal Advocates and Defenders, under the reasoning that these restrictions directly violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
Youths are also feeling the pressure in Texas, where actions by Republican activists and politicians have limited hormone therapies, as well as other treatments, in children’s hospitals. Pharmecautical companies are being investigated specifically in their products for trransgender patients and efforts are being taken in terms of political elections and bills that limit the capabilities of doctors and the parents of children who identify as transgender.
The advocacy organization Equality Texas has estimated that there are approximately 17,000 transgender youths, ages 13 to 17, who reside in the state. Imagine how many families are inflicted by these irrational laws, forced even to move homes to somewhere where treatment might be more accessible. Parents have the right to provide for the needs of their children, the right for doctors to offer care without risk of retribution, and the right for transgender people to express themselves without fear of being incriminated.