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    Appeals court lets Indiana's controversial ban on gender-affirming care for minors take effect

    By Darryl Coote,


    Feb. 28 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court has allowed Indiana to enforce a controversial ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors.
    A federal appeals court has allowed India to enforce a ban on minors receiving gender-affirming care. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

    The law, Senate Bill 480, was signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, nearly a year ago, prohibiting doctors from performing transition procedures on a minor or aiding or abetting another medical professional from doing likewise under threat of civil action.

    The ban was to go into effect July 1, but a lower court placed an injunction on the law a month prior, allowing minors access to gender-affirming medicine amid litigation.

    On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals lifted that stay, permitting the ban to be enforced.

    The ruling was made after the court heard oral arguments on Feb. 16. The three-judge panel said its decision would be released later.

    "This ruling is beyond disappointing and a heartbreaking development for thousands of transgender youth, their doctors and their families," said the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which brought the original lawsuit against the ban.

    "As we and our clients consider our next steps, we want all the transgender youth of Indiana to know this fight is far from over and we will continue to challenge this law until it is permanently defeated and Indiana is made a safer place to raise every family."

    The ruling comes amid a Republican effort to restrict and ban gender-affirming care nationwide, despite every major American medical association supporting this type of treatment, including for minors.

    At least 23 states have so far enacted bans or restrictions on minors receiving gender-affirming medicine, according to the Movement Advancement Project .

    Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita celebrated the court's decision Tuesday, describing S.B. 480 as a "common state law."

    "We are proud to win this fight against the radicals who continue pushing this horrific practice on our children for ideological and financial reasons," he said on X .

    According to the University of California, Los Angeles' Williams Institute, there are an estimated 4,100 minors between the ages of 13 and 17 who identify as transgender in Indiana, representing less than 1% of the state's population.

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