NATIONAL NEWS

See which states are poised to rule next on transgender health care restrictions

Aug 25, 2023, 11:07 AM | Updated: 1:14 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Courts nationwide are delivering a mixed verdict on the future of state laws restricting gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth, as legal battles ramp up over the historic wave of bans enacted this year.

Alabama was allowed to enforce its ban on providing care to young people, a day after Georgia ‘s ban was partially blocked. New rulings may be imminent on bans in at least three more states in the coming week.

Here’s a look at recent developments in the cases and where laws on transgender health care stand:

THE LATEST RULINGS

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that Alabama can enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, vacating a lower court ruling against the 2022 law. The earlier ruling is still keeping Alabama’s ban on hold until the appeals decision formally takes effect, which could take several days.

This was the second federal appeals panel to allow a state ban to move forward, after a three-judge panel said last month that Tennessee and Kentucky can enforce their bans — for now.

In Georgia, a federal judge on Sunday blocked a ban on doctors starting hormone therapy for transgender people under the age of 18. Since Georgia is part of the circuit that allowed Alabama’s ban to be enforced, the state has asked the judge to reinstate the prohibition.

WHERE BANS STAND NATIONALLY

At least 22 states have enacted laws banning or restricting gender-affirming care for minors, and most of the bans are being challenged in court.

The most recent state to enact a ban was North Carolina, where Republican lawmakers overrode Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a measure banning medical professionals from providing hormone therapy, puberty-blocking drugs and surgical gender-transition procedures to anyone under 18, with limited exceptions.

North Carolina’s law took effect immediately. But minors who had begun treatment before Aug. 1 may continue receiving that care if their doctors deem it medically necessary and their parents consent. Opponents of the law have vowed to file a lawsuit challenging it.

A federal judge in June struck down Arkansas ‘ first-in-the-nation ban, and the state has appealed that decision. The judge in that case ruled the prohibition violated the constitutional rights of transgender youth and families, as well as medical providers. He also rejected proponents’ claims that the treatments were experimental.

A federal judge has blocked Indiana’s ban, and Oklahoma has agreed to not enforce its ban while opponents seek a temporary court order blocking it. A Nebraska judge rejected an effort to block that state’s ban before it takes effect Oct. 1. The same federal appeals court panel that allowed Tennessee’s ban to take effect also ruled that Kentucky’s ban could be enforced.

People opposed to such treatments for children argue they are too young to make such decisions about their futures.

Every major medical organization, including the American Medical Association, has opposed the bans on gender-affirming care for minors and supported the medical care for youth when administered appropriately.

The American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this month reaffirmed its support for the treatments, and voted to conduct an external review of research regarding the care.

WHAT CASES ARE NEXT?

A ruling is expected as soon as Friday from a state judge on whether to temporarily block Missouri’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors before it takes effect Monday.

The law would stop Missouri health care providers from providing puberty blockers, hormones and gender-affirming surgeries to minors. Minors prescribed puberty blockers or hormones before Aug. 28 would be able to continue to receive those treatments. The law would also make it easier for patients to sue providers of such care.

A Texas judge is considering whether to block that state’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors before it takes effect on Sept. 1. If Texas is allowed to enforce the ban, it would become the most populous state to restrict the care for minors.

The appeals panel that allowed Tennessee’s ban to take effect is also set to hear arguments on Sept. 1 over the earlier decision that had temporarily blocked the law.

The cases go beyond restrictions on transgender youth. A federal judge in Florida is expected to hold a hearing Tuesday on whether to block a law that has made it difficult, and impossible in some cases, for many transgender adults in that state to get gender-affirming care.

The same judge has already narrowly blocked the portion of the law banning care for transgender youth, prohibiting the state from banning the care for the three children who are challenging it. Opponents are also seeking to expand that ruling to other youth who may be affected by the ban.

In Montana, a state judge is expected to hear arguments in a Sept. 18 hearing on whether to block that state’s ban before it takes effect Oct. 1.

National News

Gov. Greg Abbott receives a briefing for Hurricane Beryl from local elected officials Sunday, July ...

Associated Press

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demands answers as customers remain without power after Beryl

DALLAS (AP) — With around 350,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he’s demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms. “Power […]

31 minutes ago

Associated Press

Acclaimed video artist Bill Viola dies at 73, created landmark `Tristan und Isolde’ production

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Bill Viola, a video artist who combined with director Peter Sellars on a groundbreaking production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” originally seen in Los Angeles, Paris and New York, has died at age 73. Viola died Friday at his home in Long Beach of Alzheimer’s disease, his website announced. What […]

2 hours ago

President Joe Biden arrives on Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, July 13, 202...

Associated Press

Biden tries to balance his condemnation of the attack on Trump with the ongoing 2024 campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland security and law enforcement officials were briefing President Joe Biden on Sunday about the apparent assassination attempt on his predecessor, Donald Trump, as the White House continued to call for national unity and condemn the stunning act of violence. Vice President Kamala Harris was joining Biden for an update from top […]

7 hours ago

FILE - President Ronald Reagan waves and then looks up before being shoved into the President's lim...

Associated Press

Reagan survived an assassination attempt and his response changed the trajectory of his presidency

WASHINGTON (AP) — The would-be assassin got off six shots in 1.7 seconds, nearly taking the life of a president and changing the trajectory of a presidency. It happened on a dreary March afternoon in 1981. President Ronald Reagan was leaving the Washington Hilton hotel after giving a speech to a union group when John […]

8 hours ago

A 150 million year old dinosaur skeleton is displayed at the Natural History Museum's new welcome c...

Associated Press

Gnatalie is the only green-boned dinosaur found on the planet. She will be on display in LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The latest dinosaur being mounted at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles is not only a member of a new species — it’s also the only one found on the planet whose bones are green, according to museum officials. Named “Gnatalie” (pronounced Natalie) for the gnats that swarmed during the […]

8 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage by U.S. Sec...

Associated Press

What we know about the 20-year-old suspect in the apparent assassination attempt of Donald Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man identified as the shooter in the apparent assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump was a 20-year-old from a Pittsburg suburb not far from the campaign rally where one attendee was killed. Authorities say Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, opened fire at the rally before being killed by […]

9 hours ago

See which states are poised to rule next on transgender health care restrictions