Judge Partially Blocks Indiana Youth Gender Change Law

A federal judge partially blocked the implementation of an Indiana law barring gender change treatment for minors. The decision followed a challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, barred part of the new law from coming into effect on Jul. 1. 

The court order allowed some of the law’s provisions to take effect. In particular, gender change surgeries for youths will still be barred. 

However, Hanlon’s decision blocked a portion of the law that would prevent Indiana doctors from sharing medical information with doctors in other states regarding such gender change therapy.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed the bill into law Apr. 5. 

The new law barred efforts including  “puberty blocking drugs, gender transition hormone therapy, or genital gender reassignment surgery or nongenital gender reassignment surgery knowingly performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a gender transition.”

A number of specific procedures, including “mammoplasty,” “facial feminization surgery” and “subcutaneous mastectomy” were included in the new law.

At the time, the governor said that “gender-changing surgeries with lifelong impacts and medically prescribed preparation for such a transition should occur as an adult, not as a minor.”

The governor said that a debate over gender norms will continue for the foreseeable future and that he decided to sign the bill into law. 

The decision was lauded by Sen. Mike Braun (R-OH), who is seeking the gubernatorial mansion next year. 

Braun said that the state “will no longer allow children to take dangerous drugs with long-term consequences like puberty blockers and hormone therapies in the name of extreme gender theories.”

Separately, Holcomb signed a bill into law that would compel schools to inform parents if their children attempted to change their name or preferred pronouns.

Furthermore, the bill disallows the use of instruction on gender and reproductive roles prior to fourth grade.

“I believe in parental rights,” he said. “I also just believe it’s common sense that sex education should not be taught in prekindergarten through third grade.”