Some Progress

The Alabama House of Representatives, on the last day of this year’s legislative session, passed—66-28—a bill that makes felonies out of performing certain essentially irreversible transgender procedures on children. The State’s Senate had passed the bill earlier, so now it goes to Governor Kay Ivey (R) for signature and passage into law.

Among the procedures proscribed by the bill are hormone treatment, puberty blockers, and gender-reassignment surgery.

It’s one thing if adults want to undergo transgender procedures, but it’s quite another for children. Not only are children—from an intellectual and emotional maturation standpoint as well as legally—incapable of making such decisions, they’re incapable of deciding for themselves their underlying desired gender recognition status. That status is determined solely by a child’s parents, and so are the decisions to act on their determination.

Such procedures are irreversible, and neither the parent nor the child can undo them later if either should wish to change his mind or recognize a mistake and wish to correct it. A parent imposing such a decision on the child is as guilty of child abuse as they would be of beatings or genital mutilation.

Ivey has not said whether she would sign the bill, and her office did not respond to a request by the wire service for comment.

It’s unclear why Ivey is hesitating. Protecting children from abuse should be a goal of everyone, including politicians.

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