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​​State Senate sends bill limiting health care for transgender kids to governor

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​​State Senate sends bill limiting health care for transgender kids to governor

Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Atlanta, GA — On March 21, the Georgia Senate voted to send a bill that would limit medical care for transgender children to the governor. 

On a party-line vote, the Senate voted 31-21 to agree to the amendment made to Senate Bill 140 by the state House of Representatives, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

SB140, sponsored by Sen. Carden Summers (R-Senate District 13), would prohibit doctors from providing hormone or surgical treatments for gender dysphoria to individuals under 18. Minors currently on hormones for gender dysphoria could continue receiving treatment. The bill would also allow puberty-blocking medications, the Georgia Recorder reported.

The bill passed the Senate on March 6 with a 33-22 vote and passed the House on March 16 with a 96-75 vote. 

The House amended the bill to remove language that would have protected doctors from civil or criminal charges for violating the proposed new law. 

Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville) sponsored the bill in the House. 

“The bill prohibits medical providers from performing surgery or prescribing hormone therapy for the purposes of altering the sex of anyone under the age of 18,” he said during the House floor session on March 16. 

He added that if doctors were to violate the proposed law, they could face sanctions from the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners or the Department of Community Health. Those sanctions could include a physician losing their license.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham said he was saddened to see the Senate move the bill today. 

“Parents, working in collaboration with their medical teams and adhering to standards of care, should be able to make decisions regarding their child’s healthcare,” Graham said. “With an amendment attached to SB 140 that would criminalize medical providers for following established standards of care, this legislation sets a dangerous precedent by putting politics over scientific fact.” 

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