Judge blocks Indiana ban on hormone treatments and puberty blockers for minors

  • A federal judge issued an order on Friday preventing Indiana’s ban on puberty blockers and hormone treatments for minors from taking effect on July 1 as scheduled.
  • United States District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon has authorized the banning of gender surgeries for minors by law.
  • Hanlon, a Trump appointee, justified the decision by noting that constitutional challenges to these legal provisions could have “some probability of success.”

A federal judge issued an order on Friday preventing Indiana’s ban on puberty blockers and hormones for transgender minors from taking effect as scheduled on July 1.

The Indiana American Civil Liberties Union has sought the temporary injunction in its legal challenge to the Republican-backed law, which was signed into law this spring as part of a nationwide push by GOP-led legislatures to restrict LGBTQ+ rights.

U.S. District Court Judge James Patrick Hanlon’s order will allow the law’s ban on gender surgeries to take effect. Hanlon’s order also blocks provisions that would bar Indiana doctors from communicating with out-of-state physicians about transgender procedures for their patients under 18.


The ACLU filed the lawsuit hours after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law on April 5. The challenge, on behalf of four young people undergoing transgender treatment and an Indiana doctor who provides such care, argued that the ban would violate the equal protection guarantees of the US Constitution. and violated the right of parents to decide on the medical treatment of their children.

The Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature approved the ban after contentious hearings that featured mostly testimony from vocal opponents, with many claiming gender procedures reduced the risk of depression and suicide in young people diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” or distress caused when gender identity does not work. does not correspond to the sex assigned to a person.

Hanlon, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, wrote that he was blocking the law from going into effect because his opponents had demonstrated potential irreparable harm to those undergoing treatment and had shown “some likelihood of success” in arguments that it was unconstitutional.

The ACLU had provided “evidence of risks to the health and well-being of minors related to gender dysphoria if these treatments can no longer be provided to minors – prolonging their dysphoria and causing additional distress and risk to the conditions, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidality,” Hanlon said. “Although the state has identified legitimate reasons for regulation in this area, the designated evidence does not demonstrate, at least to this stage, that the scope of its regulation was narrowly tailored to defend those interests.”

ACLU leaders hailed the decision as a victory in the fight “to uphold the right of all trans people to be authentic, without discrimination.”

Demonstration against trans law in Indiana

A federal judge has blocked a major portion of an Indiana law banning gender reassignment procedures and therapies for minors. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

“We will not rest until this unconstitutional law is permanently struck down,” Ken Falk, chief legal officer for the ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement.

At least 20 GOP-led states have now enacted laws restricting or banning such medical treatments for transgender minors after the governor of Missouri signed that state’s bill into law last week. Lawsuits have been filed in several states against transgender treatment bans. Federal judges have also blocked enforcement in Alabama and Arkansas, and Oklahoma has agreed not to enforce its ban while opponents seek a temporary court order blocking it.

The Indiana bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Joanna King of Middlebury, said during the ban debate that it would “protect our children from irreversible, harmful and life-altering procedures.”

The Indiana attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Hanlon’s decision and whether he would attempt to appeal the injunction until July 1. The provisions of the law that were blocked gave trans young people on drugs a transition until December 31 for quitting.


A top state attorney told Hanlon during a court hearing on Wednesday that the risks of gender-specific treatments during puberty, such as future fertility, bone strength, brain development and possible reversibility, had not been sufficiently studied by scientists.

Such factors place it within the purview of the Legislature to decide “we don’t want our children to be part of this grand experiment,” Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said.

Although leading authority guidelines on transgender procedures already state that surgery should generally be reserved for adults, with the exception of older adolescents who meet certain criteria, Indiana law calls for an immediate ban on surgeries. .

The provisions of the law banning gender surgeries for minors in Indiana will not have an immediate impact. Hanlon wrote in her decision that no medical provider in the state performs these procedures on anyone under 18.


Representatives from Indiana University Health Riley Children’s Hospital, the state’s only hospital-based health program of its kind, told lawmakers earlier this year that for underage patients, doctors do not perform genital surgeries. nor do they provide these surgical references. IU Health was not involved in the ACLU lawsuit.

Leave a Comment