Updated Jun 16, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Federal court blocks most of Indiana's gender-affirming care ban

Illustration of a gavel with a trans flag on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A federal judge has temporarily blocked a large portion of Indiana's ban on gender-affirming care for minors, which was set to take effect July 1.

Why it matters: Indiana is now among a handful of states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri and Florida — where gender-affirming care bans have been halted by the courts.

Driving the news: Judge James Patrick Hanlon issued the preliminary injunction Friday, blocking the part of the law that would prohibit puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender minors.

  • He also blocked the portion of the law that would prohibit doctors from communicating with physicians in other states about gender-affirming care for patients who are minors.
  • But Hanlon's order allows the law's ban on gender-affirming surgeries to take effect.
  • "Plaintiffs lack standing to challenge that ban because gender reassignment surgeries are not provided to minors in Indiana," he wrote.

State of play: The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as medical provider Mosaic Health.

  • Transgender youth taking medication to transition would have had until Dec. 31 to stop.

Context: The Indiana General Assembly passed the law earlier this year as part of a nationwide wave of legislation targeting the transgender community.

What they're saying: "We won’t rest until this unconstitutional law is struck down for good," Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement Friday.

  • "Today’s victory is a testament to the trans youth of Indiana, their families, and their allies, who never gave up the fight to protect access to gender-affirming care and who will continue to defend the right of all trans people to be their authentic selves, free from discrimination," Falk said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information throughout.

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