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Idaho defends law protecting children from harmful medical procedures

Idaho attorney general asks Supreme Court to narrow lower court ruling, allow Idaho to protect children while case proceeds

Monday, Feb 19, 2024

WASHINGTON – Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, with the assistance of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom and Cooper & Kirk, filed an emergency motion Friday asking the U.S. Supreme Court to narrow a lower court’s order to cover only the challengers and allow Idaho to otherwise enforce its law and protect children from harmful and experimental drugs and procedures. Although the activists have only challenged certain parts of Idaho’s commonsense law, the lower court stopped Idaho from enforcing its entire law state-wide, prohibiting the state from even protecting children under age five from drugs and surgeries that disfigure their bodies and stop their natural development.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences of drugs and procedures used on children with gender dysphoria. And it’s a preventable tragedy,” Labrador said. “The state has a duty to protect and support all children and that’s why I’m proud to defend Idaho’s law that ensures children are not subjected to these life-altering drugs and procedures. Those suffering gender dysphoria deserve love, support, and medical care rooted in biological reality. Denying the basic truth that boys and girls are biologically different hurts our kids. No one has the right to harm children, and, thankfully, we as the state have the power—and duty—to protect them.”

“Idaho’s law rightly supports children’s natural biological development, ensuring children experiencing gender dysphoria have a chance for comprehensive healing and compassionate mental health support,” said ADF Vice President of Litigation Strategy and Center for Conscience Initiatives Jonathan Scruggs. “ Respected authorities continue to assert that the overwhelming majority of children will naturally resolve their dysphoria as they mature. And there is no reliable scientific evidence that these dangerous transition procedures improve mental health. That’s why countries like Sweden, England, and Finland—which once recommended these procedures for children—are now restricting them and protecting children from the devastating effects these procedures have had on countless lives. Idaho should be free to enforce its law.”

“Every day Idaho’s law remains enjoined exposes vulnerable children to risky and dangerous medical procedures and infringes Idaho’s sovereign power to enforce its democratically enacted law. These procedures have lifelong, irreversible consequences, with more and more minors voicing their regret for taking this path,” the motion for stay filed in Labrador v. Poe explains. “[T]he district court’s sweeping injunction hamstrings Idaho’s ability to protect its citizens from well-recognized harms.”

Idaho enacted the Vulnerable Child Protection Act last year, protecting children from dangerous and often irreversible drugs and procedures that block natural development and remove healthy body parts. Activists sued the state, and a district court blocked Idaho from enforcing its law. The Office of the Idaho Attorney General, with the assistance of ADF and Cooper & Kirk, appealed to the 9th Circuit in January, asking it to allow the law to take effect while the case proceeds, but the 9th Circuit denied the request in two unreasoned orders. Idaho is now appealing to the Supreme Court.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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