HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) — Starting July 1, anyone under the age of 18 in Indiana will not be able to receive gender-transitioning care, according to recently signed Senate Bill 480.
To the approval of some and dismay of others, Governor Eric Holcomb signing the bill into law has given rise to arguments and reaction across the state.
The American Civil Liberties Union announced they are suing Indiana over the decision, calling it “devastating to trans youth and their families.”
“Gender-affirming care is life-saving care for our clients, and they’re terrified of what will happen if this law is allowed to take effect,” explains Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director. “No child should be cut off from the medical care they need or denied their fundamental right to be themselves — but this law would do both.”
The lawsuit accuses Senate Bill 480 of violating the U.S. Constitution on multiple fronts, including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In reaction, Attorney General Todd Rokita says he’s prepared to defend Gov. Holcomb’s decision.
“Signing the bill that protects our children from irreversible and damaging decisions was the right move by the governor,” he says. “Banning these experimental procedures is critical for the health and wellbeing of future generations. My office is thankful for the General Assembly’s hard work to ensure this got across the finish line. We are ready to defend it in court.”
Taking sides with many Republicans across the Hoosier State, Senator Mike Braun alleges the bill is stopping “irreversible” and “dangerous” gender transition medicine.
“These kids are clearly having a hard time, and we need to give them compassion and mental health help rather than dangerous, un-tested, unapproved drugs and irreversible surgeries,” says Sen. Braun in a statement given to the media.
LaKimba DeSadier, Indiana State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, calls the bill an “atrocious”, “stigmatizing” and “unjustified” political move.
“To our trans community: SB 480 will not erase you. We see you, we love you and we will never stop fighting for you,” she said in a statement.
The bill follows a wave of Republican-backed bills impacting transgender care and communities across the country.