Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general, today opposed a new law in Indiana that targets transgender youth by blocking access to lifesaving gender-affirming care.
The amicus brief supports the plaintiffs in K.C. v. Indiana who are suing to block Indiana’s Senate Enacted Act (S.E.A.) 480, which prohibits health care professionals from providing gender-affirming care to transgender youth.
“Across the country, we are seeing increased attempts to block access to vital health services for transgender youth,” Raoul said. “These laws have not only medical implications for transgender youth but also exacerbate mental and emotional trauma. I will continue to ensure transgender youth have access to the gender-affirming care that they deserve.”
Enacted in April 2023, Indiana’s S.E.A. 480 is aimed at blocking transgender minors’ access to medical treatment such as hormone therapy and puberty blockers that help treat gender dysphoria. In their brief, Raoul and the coalition support the plaintiffs’ lawsuit seeking to block the enforcement of S.EA. 480, arguing that the law significantly harms the health and lives of transgender people by denying them medically-necessary care that protects their physical, emotional and psychological health. The brief also contends that the discriminatory law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by banning medical treatment for transgender youth while permitting the same treatment for cisgender youth.
Raoul and the coalition highlight that many transgender teens suffer from gender dysphoria, which results from the incongruence between their gender identity and sex assigned at birth. Gender dysphoria has been found to cause severe distress and anxiety, depression, fatigue, decreased social functioning, substance misuse and a poorer quality of life. Among transgender people, suicide attempts are nine times more common than in the overall U.S. population. Those risks are even higher among transgender youth.
Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.