The U.S. Department of Justice is challenging an Alabama law making it a felony for doctors to treat transgender people under age 19 with puberty blockers and hormones to affirm their gender identity.
The Justice Department on Friday filed a motion seeking to intervene in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the law and seeking to block it from taking effect on May 8. The Justice Department said the law discriminates against minors by denying them access to medically necessary care.
Alabama Republicans who support the law say it's needed to protect children. A spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said her office is prepared to defend the legislation.
“The law discriminates against transgender minors by unjustifiably denying them access to certain forms of medically necessary care,” the complaint states. “As a result of S.B. 184, medical professionals, parents, and minors old enough to make their own medical decisions are forced to choose between forgoing medically necessary procedures and treatments or facing criminal prosecution."