Federal Decide Blocks Alabama Anti-Trans Youth Remedy Legislation

A law in Alabama had made prescribing gender-affirming meds to a transgender minor a felony, but a preliminary enforcement injunction to block its is now in place during a lawsuit. Also: approval for hospital visitors in Missouri, a Pennsylvania Senate candidate’s stroke, and more.

AP: Transgender Medication Law In Alabama Blocked By Judge

A federal judge on Friday blocked part of an Alabama law that made it a felony to prescribe gender-affirming puberty blockers and hormones to transgender minors. US District Judge Liles Burke issued a preliminary injunction to stop the state from enforcing the medication ban, which took effect May 8, while a lawsuit goes forward. The ruling was a victory for families and advocacy groups who challenged the first-of-its-kind law as an illegal introduction into family and medical decisions. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey referred to the ruling as a “temporary legal roadblock.” Alabama’s state attorney general indicated he will appeal. (Chandler, 5/14)

In other health news from across the US β€”

AP: Missouri House OKs Hospital Visitors On Final Day

Missouri’s GOP-led House spent its last day of the session Friday passing language protecting patient visitor access at hospitals after senators hindered work by leaving a day early. House lawmakers had little left available to do after the Republican-led Senate on Thursday approved new congressional districts then adjourned for the session, cutting off work on all other bills. (Ballentine, 5/13)

AP: Delaware’s Public Health Director To Step Down In June

Delaware’s top public health official, who has led the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has announced that she will leave her job next month. The News Journal reports that Dr. Karyl Rattay, the country’s longest-serving public health director, will be stepping down on June 30 after leading the Division of Public Health for 13 years. It’s unclear where she will work next and who her successor will be. The state did not make Rattay available for an interview. (5/15)

Kansas City Star: Kansas City Outdoor Summer Grief Camp Helps Children Mourn

College student Devin Rice was about 9 the first time he went to Express Yourself Camp. It was a day camp, so he didn’t have to pack an overnight bag. But he and the other kid campers all arrived with something from home: Their grief. Rice had lost a close family friend, a woman he loved like an aunt. It was his first experience with death, and β€œit was definitely really weird because I had known her for such a big part of my life. And then all of a sudden she was gone,” said Rice, who is now 19. (Gutierrez, 5/16)

Houston Chronicle: Muslim Community Leaders Tackle Mental Health At First-Of-Its-Kind Conference

The often-stigmatized subject of mental health brought together Muslims from across Houston for a first-of-its-kind event Saturday. Around 300 community leaders, including counselors, imams, and mental health and refugee service providers, met for the Muslim Mental Health Conference for Community Leaders in Sugar Land to address addiction, youth mental health and the effects of COVID-19. (Trovall, 5/14)

Oklahoman: Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Laws Aimed To Boosting Enforcement

New laws recently signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt will increase funding for local enforcement of the medical marijuana industry, as well as target illicit sales of cannabis in Oklahoma. Each of the bills moved through the Legislature last week, and as a result county sheriffs are now able to receive grant funding to dedicate a full-time deputy to assist with compliance visits conducted by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. (Gore, 5/16)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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