Judge orders Alabama parents to turn over health records of trans children
A judge's gavel (Shutterstock)

A federal judge has ordered parents fighting an Alabama ban on gender-affirming care to turn over their children's medical records.

Five parents who filed a lawsuit challenging a 2022 state law they say deprives them of the right to make important decisions about their own children's health care, which prompted state attorney general Steve Marshall to ask for medical and mental health records related to their children's treatment for gender dysphoria, and U.S. District Court judge Liles Burke ruled Monday those records were relevant to the case, reported AL.com.

“The Parent Plaintiffs claim that any disruption in their children’s care, whether it is the care they are currently receiving or the care they intend to seek in the future, would have devastating effects on their mental health, possibly including self-harm and suicide,” Burke wrote in the ruling. “Ultimately, the Plaintiffs have the burden to prove the allegations in their complaint.”

The Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act (SB184) bans puberty blockers, hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries for minors, and outlines felony charges and 10-year jail terms for doctors or "any other individual" who “prescribes or administers” those treatments, and the plaintiffs noted that the records Marshall requested could be used as evidence against them.

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Burke ruled that all records that are turned over would remain confidential, and the plaintiffs and Marshall entered into a protective order last year that restricts access to the children's personal health information.