Health Advice



Bill to limit health care for transgender kids heads to Georgia governor's desk

Maya T. Prabhu, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Health & Fitness

ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate on Tuesday voted to send to the governor a bill that would prevent medical professionals from giving transgender children certain hormones or surgical treatment.

The Senate voted 31-21 on a party-line vote, with Republicans supporting the measure, to agree to changes made to Senate Bill 140 by the House. That leaves it up to Gov. Brian Kemp to decide whether to sign the bill.

At issue was a change made in the House that got rid of a provision that aimed to shield medical professionals from criminal charges or lawsuits.

State Sen. Carden Summers, the Cordele Republican who sponsored the measure, told colleagues the bill protects children from taking steps toward gender transition that are permanent.

“I look forward to looking people straight in the eye and telling them that I am compassionate to their plea and I understand their passion, but we’re doing the right thing by protecting children,” he said.

Opponents say the bill goes against published medical “standards of care” and would end up hurting transgender children, who commit suicide at a higher rate than their nontransgender peers.


State Sen. Kim Jackson, a Pine Lake Democrat and the Senate’s first openly LGBTQ member, told her colleagues that the compassionate thing to do was to vote against the legislation.

“Our children are at risk when they’re not given access to the hormone therapy they need to properly manage their gender dysphoria,” Jackson said.

SB 140 would ban health care professionals from giving hormones such as estrogen or testosterone to transgender minors. Doctors also would not be allowed to perform surgeries on children seeking to align with their gender identity.

Medical professionals would still be allowed to prescribe a hormone treatment that aims to delay puberty or stop it from progressing under the proposal. Children who don’t identify with their biological sex at a young age are often prescribed the puberty blockers.


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