Alabama governor signs law banning puberty blockers, gender transition surgeries

Bill makes it a felony to prescribe puberty blockers, hormones to transgender people under 19

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed legislation to outlaw puberty blocking medications for minors.

The bill makes it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to prescribe puberty blockers or hormones to transgender people under age 19 to help in their gender transition. 

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The bill also prohibits gender transition surgeries, although doctors told lawmakers those are generally not done on minors.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed legislation to outlaw gender-affirming medications for transgender youths.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed legislation to outlaw gender-affirming medications for transgender youths. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)

Ivey signed the legislation a day after state lawmakers passed the bill. Groups have vowed to challenge the law in court. 

Alabama is the second state to try to impose a ban on gender-affirming care for minors and the first to impose criminal penalties.  A similar measure in Arkansas, which would have banned doctors from prescribing the medications, was blocked by a federal judge.

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Ivey also signed legislation prohibiting certain elementary school teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation matters in school.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.