Federal judge blocks much of Indiana's ban on gender-affirming care for minors

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge issued an order Friday stopping an Indiana ban on puberty blockers and hormones for transgender minors from taking effect as scheduled July 1.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sought the temporary injunction in its legal challenge of the Republican-backed law, which was enacted this spring amid a national push by GOP-led legislatures to curb LGBTQ+ rights.

The order from U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon will allow the law’s prohibition on gender-affirming surgeries to take effect. Hanlon’s order also blocks provisions that would prohibit Indiana doctors from communicating with out-of-state doctors about gender-affirming care for their patients younger than 18.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit within hours after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill April 5. The challenge, on behalf of four youths undergoing transgender treatments and an Indiana doctor who provides such care, argued the ban would violate the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees and trampled upon the rights of parents to decide medical treatment for their children.

Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature approved the ban after contentious hearings that primarily featured testimony from vocal opponents, with many arguing the gender-affirming care lessened the risk of depression and suicide among transgender youth.

Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature approved the ban after contentious hearings that primarily featured testimony from vocal opponents, with many arguing the gender-affirming care lessened the risk of depression and suicide among young people diagnosed with “gender dysphoria,″ or distress caused when gender identity doesn’t match a person’s assigned sex.

Hanlon, who was appointed by former President Donald…

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