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Transgender law taking effect in Alabama, doctors respond

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Doctors at Children’s of Alabama are figuring out what they can and can’t do under a new law criminalizing medical treatments for transgender youth, as they await a ruling from a federal judge.

“Our hope is that this law is in effect for a mere few days,” UAB Pediatrics Gender Team Co-Lead Dr. Morissa Ladinsky said.

Ladinsky’s Gender Clinic sees about 100 patients. She tells CBS 42 that they’ve put safeguards in place prior to the law taking effect Sunday so those with existing prescriptions can still get refills.

“We have ensured that youth who are receiving medication and are soaring and healthy and whole, and that course of therapy will not be in any way cut off from it,” Ladinsky said.

Under the law, doctors who prescribe puberty blockers or other medication to alter the gender appearance of anyone under 19 could face up to 10 years in prison.

Dr. Hussein Abdul-Latif works with Ladinsky and says he worries that if the law stays in place it could worsen self-harm behaviors among transgender kids or force families out of state.

“I was contacted by one parent who just moved into the state and is planning to move out of state to a state in a safe zone area where there is not a threat of such illegal thing,” Abdul-Latif said.

Laws like this could also be having impacts outside the doctor’s office. Those at the Magic City Acceptance Academy, a public charter school that provides a “LGBTQ affirming learning environment,” say more students want to enroll.

Principal Michael Wilson says they’re adding 110 seats next school year and it’s filling up quick.

“We’re already up to 120 applications so the answer is yes, as people find out who we are and what we’re all about, the interest is certainly there,” Wilson said.

Judge Liles Burke is expected to rule on whether to place an injunction on this law by the end of the week.

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