Gender-Affirming Care Ban For Minor Goes Into Effect In Indiana

Pride flag (Ian Taylor for Unsplash)

A federal appeals court in Chicago, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, on Tuesday lifted a temporary injunction, allowing Indiana’s ban on gender-affirming care to take effect.

The decision was made by a panel of justices and represents the latest development in a legal battle initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana against the ban, which was enacted last spring amidst a broader effort by GOP-led legislatures to restrict LGBTQ+ rights.

The law, scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2023, faced a setback when U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued an injunction the month prior, blocking significant portions of its implementation.

Judge Hanlon’s ruling prevented the state from prohibiting minors’ access to hormone therapies and puberty blockers, although it allowed the prohibition on gender-affirming surgeries to proceed. Additionally, the injunction halted provisions that would restrict Indiana doctors from consulting with out-of-state doctors regarding gender-affirming care for patients under 18.

Responding to the appeals court’s decision, the ACLU of Indiana released a statement expressing disappointment, describing the ruling as “heartbreaking” for transgender youth, their families, and healthcare providers. Despite the setback, the ACLU affirmed its commitment to continuing the legal challenge, emphasizing its determination to fight until the law is permanently overturned and Indiana becomes a safer place for all families to raise their children.

The three-judge panel responsible for Tuesday’s decision includes Kenneth F. Ripple and Michael B. Brennan, both appointed by Republican presidents, and Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, appointed by Democratic President Joe Biden.