The Georgia Senate on Tuesday voted to ban most transgender health care, including hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgery, for minors. The bill, which passed 31-21, headed to the desk of Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed it into law.
The bill, SB 140, would prohibit doctors and other healthcare providers from providing hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery to anyone under the age of 18. It would also prohibit doctors from referring minors to other providers for such care.
The bill’s supporters say it is necessary to protect children from making irreversible decisions about their bodies. They also argue that the bill will help to “prevent the spread of transgenderism.”
The bill’s opponents say it is cruel and discriminatory. They argue that it will prevent transgender youth from receiving the care they need to be healthy and happy. They also say that the bill will put transgender youth at significant risk of suicide and other serious mental health problems.
The bill is one of several anti-transgender bills that have been passed in states across the country this year. Similar bills have been passed in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
The bills have been met with widespread condemnation from LGBTQ+ advocates, who say they are harmful and discriminatory. The American Medical Association has also spoken out against the bills, saying they will have a “chilling effect” on healthcare for transgender youth.
OUT Georgia Business Alliance issued a statement that called attention to the implications of the bill.
“For young gender diverse Georgians – who could become our state’s next CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, leaders, and employers – losing access to gender-affirming care will signal that their lives aren’t valuable,” they said. “And for some, parents may decide that Georgia is no longer safe, welcoming, and supportive of their families.”
State Sen. Kim Jackson, the state’s first and only openly LGBTQ+ state senator, said the bill was “grossly disgusting” and “about us bullying children in order to score political points.”
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