7th Circuit allows Indiana ban on caring for transgender youth to go into effect

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed Indiana’s ban on providing care to transgender youth to go into effect.

The court issued the injunction Tuesday, overturning a June ruling by a federal judge that blocked the health insurance ban.

The three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case on February 16, announced its decision on Tuesday, and said it would issue an opinion at a later date.

Indiana Senate Bill 480 prohibits healthcare providers from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender minors.

In response to this decision, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Indiana released a joint statement.

“This ruling is beyond disappointing and heartbreaking for thousands of transgender young people, their doctors, and their families,” the statement said. “As we and our clients consider next steps, we want all transgender youth in Indiana to know that this fight is far from over and that this law is defeated forever.” And we will continue to challenge this law until Indiana is a safe place to raise all families.”

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) signed the bill on April 5, 2023, shortly after calling the bill “clear as mud.” Hours later, the ACLU sued the state on behalf of transgender children and their families, alleging that the law violates federal requirements in Medicaid law, the Affordable Care Act, and the U.S. Constitution.

Supporters of the ban argue that the potential harms of gender-affirming medicine have not been adequately studied. Indiana Attorney General Thomas Fisher said during oral arguments last year that he supports the bill because “we don’t want our children to be part of this grand experiment.”

Many medical organizations say gender-affirming care for transgender people is considered medically necessary and often saves lives.

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