Protect transgender youth healthcare rights and oppose Alabama HB-1

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A proposed law (Alabama HB-1) seeks to prohibit and criminalize medical care for transgender youth in Alabama. Gender-affirming care and pubertal suppression of adolescents has been a medical practice since the late 1980s and has a wealth of evidence to support the practice. Transgender youth are at an increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations – which studies have shown gender-affirming care can reduce the incidence of. Not only does HB-1 seek to criminalize medical treatment for transgender youth, this bill also seeks to require teachers to disclose information about transgender youth to their parents, regardless of the student's feelings about this which would be a further detriment to their mental health. 

Rather than criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender youth, we need to focus on solutions to provide access to safe and equitable healthcare services. According to the treatment guidelines for gender-affirming care, individuals must establish care with a psychiatrist prior to beginning pubertal suppression or hormone therapy. Alabama is among the states with the lowest access to mental health services, particularly for adolescents. Providing access to mental health professionals will allow children and adolescents to explore their gender identity through evidence-based approaches. Along with improved mental health services, we need to support the training of medical professionals to provide access to gender-affirming care for adolescent patients. 

Through signing this petition, we urge the Alabama State House to oppose the criminalization of gender-affirming care for youth and to rather support improved access to mental health and gender-affirming care services!