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A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Kentucky’s ban on transgender hormones for children.
Judge David Hale ruled Wednesday that the portion of a new Kentucky law, Senate Bill 150, that bans puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones was illegal because it “would have the effect of enforcing gender conformity.”
“The Court finds that the treatments barred by SB 150 are medically appropriate and necessary for some transgender children under the evidence-based standard of care accepted by all major medical organizations in the United States,” Hale ruled.
The rest of the Kentucky law is a wide-ranging bill that enacts a list of conservative priorities around gender ideology in children’s health care and K-12 education.
Besides prohibiting health care providers from prescribing trans-identifying children puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, the law also prohibits performing genital surgery or a double mastectomy to help a minor achieve the appearance of the opposite gender.
The bill also prohibits trans-identifying students from using the bathrooms or locker rooms of the opposite gender at school and bans instruction about human sexuality in grades five and below as well as instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in all grades.
The law also requires schools to give parents notification about classes on human sexuality, and parents must also be allowed to review the curriculum materials. Kentucky’s ban also prohibits schools from keeping information like a student’s gender identity secret from parents and says schools cannot force staff or other students to use pronouns that do not conform to a student’s biological gender.
Only the portion of the law that bans puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones for minors was blocked by the federal court.
Kentucky passed the bill in March, but the state’s Democratic governor Andy Beshear vetoed the bill days later.
The Republican-controlled legislature overrode the governor’s veto later in March.
The law was slated to take effect on Thursday.
The lawsuit against the bill was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky along with seven trans-identifying children, three girls and four boys, and their parents.
Six of the children are currently receiving transgender hormone treatments, while the seventh child anticipates going on hormone treatments, according to the plaintiffs.
“These drugs have a long history of safe use in minors for various conditions. It is undisputed that puberty-blockers and hormones are not given to prepubertal children with gender dysphoria,” the judge wrote.
Both puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones come with serious health risks. Puberty blockers can affect bone growth and density and cause sexual dysfunction, voice damage, and infertility among other issues. Cross-sex hormones can cause infertility, deadly blood clots, heart attacks, increased cancer risks of the breasts and ovaries, liver dysfunction, worsening psychological illness, and other serious conditions.
Hundreds of teen girls in the U.S., some as young as 12, have gotten elective, gender-related double mastectomies to remove their healthy breasts over the last few years.
Meanwhile, it is more popular than ever for youth to adopt new gender identities. An estimated 300,000 minors aged 13 to 17 identified as transgender as of last year.