Idaho Families of Trans Youth Ask Court to Pause Health Care Ban

Plaintiffs in the Poe v. Labrador lawsuit challenging Idaho’s ban on gender-affirming medical care seek a preliminary injunction

Affiliate: ACLU of Idaho
July 21, 2023 3:37 pm

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BOISE, IdahoThe plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging H.B. 71’s ban on gender-affirming medical care for minors have filed a motion asking the court to issue a preliminary injunction to prevent the ban from going into effect while the lawsuit is litigated. The ban is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

The case has been brought by two Idaho families with transgender children who are receiving medical care that that would be prohibited should H.B. 71 take effect. The motion asserts that a preliminary injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable harm to Idahoans while the case is pending. Court-ordered preliminary injunctions are in effect against similar bans in Alabama, Florida, Indiana, and Kentucky.

“There is no justification for banning all gender-affirming medical care for young Idahoans with gender dysphoria,” said Leo Morales, executive director of the ACLU of Idaho. “The ban prohibits care that the youth, their parents, and their doctors all agree is medically necessary, and which is supported by every major medical association in the U.S.”

“Last month, in the first ruling on the merits on such a case, a federal judge in Arkansas permanently struck down a ban on gender-affirming health care for minors, finding the ban violated the constitutional rights of transgender youth, their parents, and their doctors,” said Ritchie Eppink, an attorney with W/rest Collective. “We hope the court will rule in our favor in this case and prevent this kind of discriminatory harm from reaching Idaho families.”

The Idaho plaintiffs join families in Arkansas, Montana, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Indiana in fighting alongside the ACLU to prevent gender-affirming health care bans for youth in their states.

“This is part of a troubling trend across the country that targets trans people and access to necessary medical care such as abortion and gender-affirming hormones,” said Li Nowlin-Sohl, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project. “We are deeply concerned with the coordinated attacks on people’s rights to access health care free from government intrusion.”

The attorneys on this lawsuit are the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Idaho, Wrest Collective, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone LLP.

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