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Alabama Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Trans Youth, Threatening Doctors with Imprisonment

Lawmakers are also considering an anti-trans sports ban.

Today, Alabama state Senate passed the “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” (SB10), which would criminalize the provision of best-practice, gender-affirming care for transgender and nonbinary youth — even threatening doctors with prison sentences up to 10 years. The medical care ban will soon be voted on by the House, where lawmakers are also considering House Bill 391, which would ban trans youth from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

“This legislation will endanger young trans lives in Alabama. It contradicts the consensus of major medical associations and the overwhelming evidence that demonstrates how affirming transgender and nonbinary youth in their identities reduces suicide risk and improves health,” said Sam Brinton (they/them pronouns), VP of Advocacy and Government Affairs at The Trevor Project. “There’s absolutely no ‘compassion’ in threatening doctors with imprisonment for providing trans youth with the best-practice care they need to survive and thrive. And there’s no ‘fairness’ in sidelining a group of young people who already face significantly increased risk for rejection, bullying, and suicide.”

Over the last year, The Trevor Project has supported over 2300 crisis contacts in Alabama. As troubling as that is, that’s less than 9% of the number of Alabama’s LGBTQ youth who we estimate to be in crisis and could benefit from our services.

The Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey of over 40,000 LGBTQ youth found that more than half (52%) of transgender and nonbinary youth seriously considered suicide in the past year. Transgender and nonbinary youth who report experiencing discrimination based on their gender identity had more than double the odds of attempting suicide in the past year compared to those who did not experience gender identity-based discrimination.

However, research clearly demonstrates that gender-affirming medical care produces positive mental health outcomes and reduces suicide risk. Further, transgender and nonbinary youth who reported having at least one gender-affirming space had 25% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year — the strongest association being with gender-affirming schools.

If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, contact The Trevor Project's TrevorLifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386. Counseling is also available 24/7 via chat every day at TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifelineTrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or suicidal, our trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386 via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678-678.