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Supreme Court to review ban on gender-affirming care for minors

Written by on June 24, 2024

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(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will take up a constitutional challenge to state bans on gender-affirming care for minors in its next term.

The case from Tennessee involves the 15-year-old transgender daughter of Samantha and Brian Williams of Nashville.

The family alleges that Senate Bill 1, which prohibits certain types of medical treatments for minors with diagnosed gender dysphoria, violates the Equal Protection Cause of the 14th Amendment.

By denying only transgender youth access to these forms of medically necessary care while allowing non-transgender minors access to the same or similar procedures, SB 1 discriminates against transgender youth, they argue.

“It was incredibly painful watching my child struggle before we were able to get her the life-saving health care she needed. We have a confident, happy daughter now, who is free to be herself and she is thriving,” plaintiff Samantha Williams said in a statement.

“I am so afraid of what this law will mean for her. We don’t want to leave Tennessee, but this legislation would force us to either routinely leave our state to get our daughter the medical care she desperately needs or to uproot our entire lives and leave Tennessee altogether,” she said. “No family should have to make this kind of choice.”

Tennessee is home to more than 3,000 transgender adolescents, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the Williams family in the case.

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee and other states with similar laws contend that each state is free to regulate medical standards and procedures as it sees fit.

Twenty-five states have passed bans on gender-affirming care, including Florida, Ohio and Montana, where the laws are currently on hold under court order during litigation.

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