Opinions / Op-eds

Attorney General Labrador Supports States’ Rights to Safeguard Minors from Experimental Medical Procedures

Boise, ID – Attorney General Raúl Labrador joined a coalition of 21 states in filing an amicus brief in the Seventh Circuit court urging reversal of the preliminary injunction of Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act 480 (S.E.A. 480).

“The Constitution recognizes the crucial responsibility of states in protecting the well-being of their citizens, especially minors. The decision regarding the use of unproven hormonal treatments for our children should be made by states, not by the federal government or activist groups. We are committed to opposing erroneous judgments like this, as it aligns with our constitutional duty,” Attorney General Labrador said.

S.E.A. 480 is a strong statement of Indiana’s commitment to safeguarding the health and well-being of its minors. Like many states, Indiana recognized the critical need to address concerns surrounding the administration of unproven hormonal and surgical treatments to gender dysphoric children, which jeopardizes their long-term health. S.E.A. 480, a legislative response to these concerns, prohibits the administration of gender-transition procedures to minors, ensuring that the welfare of children is prioritized.

The parties challenging S.E.A. 480 contend that the endorsement of various medical associations in the United States should effectively dictate healthcare standards and regulations—promoting the Standards of Care set forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) and the Endocrine Society.

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In Dobbs the Supreme Court observed that medical interest groups’ position statements do not shed light on the meaning of the Constitution. The distinction made by the First and Fifth Circuits, correctly recognizes that the WPATH Standards of Care represent one perspective in a sharply contested medical discourse. States like Indiana and Idaho are well within their sovereign duties to regulate the field of medicine and protect children.

Research and reports by UK’s National Health Service (2020), Finland’s Council for Choices in Healthcare (2020), Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (2022), and Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (2023) have all concluded that the risk of puberty suppressing treatments and gender-affirming hormonal treatment outweigh the potential benefits and that the treatments lack scientific evidence.

Attorneys general from Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia also joined the brief led by Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee.

Read the full brief here.

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