Bill banning certain procedures for transgender children takes another step closer to approval

ATLANTA — The state of Georgia is one step closer to banning certain medical procedures for transgender children.

Monday, Senate leaders passed SB 140, which would ban healthcare professionals from giving hormones to minors.

It would also prohibit doctors from performing gender-affirming surgery on children.

Georgia Equality said the bill is putting politics over children. But the bill’s sponsor -- himself a doctor -- insists they’re trying to stop children and parents from getting procedures that are irreversible.

The bill affects transgender children, their parents and their healthcare.

Savannah state Sen. Ben Watson, himself a primary care physician, is one of its authors.

“I think we have struck a good balance related to this,” Watson told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot.

His bill does a couple of things. It bans doctors from performing sex reassignment surgeries for minors.

It also bans doctors from administering hormone replacement therapies, something Watson said is irreversible and potentially harmful to minors.


“We want to certainly continue with mental health treatment relating to this. We want to continue caring for these individuals, and we want to continue with some guidance relating to that,” Watson said.

But critics insist the decisions should be left to the parents of transgender children and their doctors and not in the hands of politicians, many of whom, critics believe, are only doing this to court Conservative voters.

“Unfortunately, it is putting politics over the well-being of kids and families,” said Jeff Graham with Georgia Equality.

Atlanta state Sen. Sally Harrell is the mother of a transgender child.

She insists there were standards of care already in place to help doctors and worries most politicians never read them.

“What I worry about is the kind of hatchet style solution, where it’s just like, we’re going to ban it all and each family’s situation is unique and each child is unique,” Harrell said.

The bill passed the Senate along party lines. It will now head over to the House where a similar bill never made it out of committee.


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