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Transgender treatment ban fails in Alabama Legislature

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Alabama lawmakers ended the legislative session without a vote on one of the most controversial bills before them: a measure to outlaw gender-affirming medical treatments for transgender minors.

The Senate-passed bill died on Monday, the final night of the legislative session after it was placed at the end of a debate agenda that lawmakers did not have time to finish before the session adjourned at midnight.  

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The demise of the bill was victory for advocacy groups and transgender youth and their parents who held  a rallies to oppose the bill.

The bill has drawn a lot of criticism and concern about lawmakers inserting themselves into medical and parental decisions. Part of the legislation would have legally require teachers and counselors to out trans kids to their parents or guardians.

Dr. Sarah Mulder is a Huntsville-based clinical psychologist. She says this could lead to negative and dangerous situations for children.

“Sometimes a teacher or a therapist is the first person a kid comes out to. And they often do so in cases where they don’t have a safe environment to come out to at home," says Dr. Mulder. "So, making it illegal to withhold that information, I think, is putting kids at additional risk.”

A recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows the attempted suicide rates for young transgender girls is around 30%. The rates for young trans boys are around 50%.

Dr.  Mulder also says she found the proposal to be concerning because of the misleading medical information surrounding it.

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“There’s a lot of misinformation about puberty blockers and hormonal suppressants. That they are really damaging, life-long problems that they cause," says Dr.  Mulder. "That’s not supported by research. The majority of the effects that they cause are irreversible.”

Dr. Mulder says another area of misinformation centers around transgender people regretting transitioning and having to later go through a de-transitioning phase. She says very few people who transition end up regretting the process.