Georgia Lawmaker Crafting New Bill That Would Criminalize Transgender 'Treatment' for Children
A Georgia Republican state legislator is proposing a new law to ban irreversible gender transition surgery on children.
The proposal from state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart would change current laws that allow such surgery with the consent of a parent, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. If approved, doctors could be charged with a felony.
“We’re talking about children that can’t get a tattoo or smoke a cigar or a cigarette in the state of Georgia but can be castrated and get sterilized,” she said. “The removal of otherwise healthy or non-diseased body parts from minor children would also be prohibited.”
Ehrhart said in a media release that her proposal, which she plans to introduce in the 2020 legislative session, would also make it illegal to prescribe “puberty-blocking drugs to stop or delay normal puberty and cross-sex hormone therapy” to minors for the purposes of gender transition.
“This form of child abuse is becoming a serious problem in Georgia and is evolving into a national crisis,” she said.
Ehrhart said gender reassignment surgery in children is a crime.
“We are talking about children who have not reached the legal age of consent yet are being subjected to life-altering, irreversible surgeries and drug treatments that render them sterile and permanently disfigured,” she said.
“The psychological damage this does to innocent children must come to an end. This legislation makes such abusive actions criminal.’
Ehrhart said the bill has been in the works for months and was “not a knee-jerk reaction to anything that’s currently in the media,” the Catholic News Agency reported.
Recently a Texas judge faced a case in which the father of a 7-year-old sued to block the child’s mother from acting alone to approve gender reassignment surgery, according to Fox News. Judge Kim Cooks ruled that both parents must sign off on major health decisions for the child.
Ehrhart said her bill is solely focused on children.
“This bill does not speak at all, nor does it address or attempt to address the decision of any individual that is of legal adult age, the age of consent, to make these decisions for themselves,” she told CNA.
“It is also not an indictment of the LGBT community, it is specifically and narrowly defined. The bill is about child abuse. Period.”
“This bill is of the utmost importance, because it will put a stop to the process of trying to convert a child’s physical appearance to that of the opposite sex, resulting in irreversible, medically harmful changes,” Dr. Van Meter, an Atlanta-based pediatric endocrinologist, said in Ehrhart’s media release.
“There is no valid scientific long-term evidence that this is either safe or effective, while there is ample evidence that it is harmful. Children should be protected from medical experimentation based on wishful social theory,” he said.
Ehrhart said her bill touches upon the experience of many families.
“Sex reassignment surgery in children does occur, I’ve spoken with families that have walked this path. Some are willing to come and testify before House committees and some are not, but they are nonetheless a valuable resource,” Ehrhart said, according to Newsweek.
Ehrhart said the final version of the bill may also have language charging parents for allowing gender transition in children.
“There may be some implication for the responsibility of the parent to subject the child to this sort of dangerous medical intervention,” she said.
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