Republicans nationwide continue to jockey to become the most anti-LGBTQ+ governing body in their states. On Thursday, they passed a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors through the George House of Representatives.
Georgia’s House and Senate have voted to outlaw most treatments that help transgender kids affirm their gender identity.
The House voted on Thursday to prohibit hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgery for minors. Doctors and healthcare providers who fail to comply could lose their licenses and be prosecuted for criminal or civil offenses.
Out Democratic state Rep. Karla Drenner issued a plea to the state’s young people after it became clear that the measure would pass, Raw Story reports.
“To all the children in our state that are going to be negatively impacted, please don’t lose hope,” she said. “Please don’t give up. Please don’t kill yourself. This world is worth it. We need you.”
Republicans passed Senate Bill 140 along party lines without Democratic votes. However, the House amended the bill, so it needs to go back to the Senate again before it reaches Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk, Atlanta public broadcast station WABE reports.
Drenner said on Thursday that she was incredibly sad to experience the moves by her Republican colleagues.
“I’ve been here 23 years. I was the first openly gay state representative in the south. I have [bourne] witness to lots of bills over the years that have impacted the LGBTQ community,” she said.
“What you are talking about today is somebody’s child,” she continued. “You are telling these parents that they are bad parents because they want to take care of their children.”
Every major medical association, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association, considers gender-affirming care for minors and adults safe, effective, and essential medical treatment.
Republicans, based on misinformation spread online and through right-wing media organizations, believe that doctors are conducting surgical procedures and “mutilating” children or altering their bodies permanently during puberty. Neither of those things is true.
Gender-affirming care includes intensive counseling, social support, puberty blockers, and later hormone replacement therapy and, after adulthood, surgery for patients for whom it’s indicated.
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned that someone you know may be, resources are available to help. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 is for people of all ages and identities.
Trans Lifeline, designed for transgender or gender-nonconforming people, can be reached at (877) 565-8860. The lifeline also provides resources to help with other crises, such as domestic violence situations.
The Trevor Project Lifeline, for LGBTQ+ youth (ages 24 and younger), can be reached at (866) 488-7386. Users can also access chat services at TheTrevorProject.org/Help or text START to 678678.
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