ATLANTA — Supporters of the transgender medical bill say they’re protecting children from irreversible procedures. Critics say the bill will do irreparable harm.
Channel 2′s Richard Elliot was at the State Capitol on Thursday where there were a lot of passionate debates in the House over the bill – and a lot of raw emotion.
The House voted down party lines on the bill that would ban doctors from performing certain medical procedures on transgender children like hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgery.
Minutes later, Georgia Equality’s Jeff Graham accused Republicans of putting politics over children.
“That is what is so hard to think about, that people are making political decisions and willing to hurt kids for political advancement here in the state of Georgia,” Graham said.
Just minutes after the vote, Elliot spoke with the bill’s supporters including Augusta Republican Mark Newton, himself an ER doctor.
He insists they were trying to protect transgender children from medical procedures that cannot be changed.
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“This is exactly about letting a child not have procedures irreversible, permanent, lifelong procedures done on them, chosen by adults rather than themselves,” Newton said.
Dawsonville Republican Will Wade said once the children reach 18, they can make that decision -- but not before.
“The bill, again, does not stop adults from making an informed decision that is going to impact their adult life,” Wade said.
Alyssa Sali is the mother of a transgender daughter. She also believes this was vote for politics over children and could lead to harm among the transgender community.
“They’re letting their party, their influences around them make their decision instead of really understanding and making decisions based on science,” Sali said.
Under this bill, transgender children currently receiving these medical procedures would be able to continue them, but if it passes, starting July 1, no new children could begin those procedures.
This bill now heads back to Senate and will probably be up for a vote on Monday.
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