A federal judge is allowing Georgia’s ban on “gender-transition” drugs and surgeries for minors to go into effect, despite protests from left-wing organizations.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit last week seeking a temporary injunction against Senate Bill 140, arguing the legislation denies parents of children identifying as “transgender” the ability “to support and protect their children and to provide them with the care they need to be healthy and thrive.”
Judge Sarah E. Geraghty of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia determined that the lawsuit came too late to grant the injunction, and the law went into effect on Saturday, less than 48 hours after the suit was filed.
S.B. 140 was signed into law in March by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. The legislation aims to “prohibit certain surgical procedures for the treatment of gender dysphoria in minors,” deeming such procedures “unnecessary and irreversible.” Specifically, it bans the practice of gender-transition surgeries and such drugs as puberty blockers or hormone replacements for minors.
The legislation’s text points out that “[a] significant portion of children with gender dysphoria do not persist in their gender dysphoric conditions past early adulthood,” further noting “a rising number of such individuals who, as adults, have regretted undergoing such treatment and the permanent physical harm it caused. …”
Hospitals or physicians who violate the law face having permits or licenses revoked.
Several other states have enacted similar legislation, including Arkansas, Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida. Almost all of those laws have been challenged, and temporary injunctions have been granted against them in Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida.
However, a federal judge struck down Arkansas’ ban as unconstitutional. Late last month, after an eight-day trial in December, U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr. ruled that “the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and … by prohibiting it, the State undermined the interests it claims to be advancing.”
Moody also dismissed the testimony of several experts called by the state, saying that they “were testifying more from a religious doctrinal standpoint rather than that required of experts.”
Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin announced he will be appealing the decision, adding, “Judge Moody misses what is widely known: There is no scientific evidence that any child will benefit from these procedures, while the consequences are harmful and often permanent.”
Last month, the U.S. was labeled an “outlier” among Western nations for its continued promotion of transgender procedures for children. The U.K., France, Sweden, and Finland have all backed away from both gender transition surgeries and drugs for minors over the past several years. Meanwhile, American legislators acting in the interests of children are taken to court by activists.
The state of Georgia has been allowed time to hire outside counsel and prepare for further arguments in the lawsuit. It may be weeks or months before arguments are continued in the case. If Geraghty rules in a like manner to Moody, it’s just possible that the Supreme Court will have a mounting number of cases pertaining to blocking transgender medical procedures for children clamoring for room on the docket in the next year or two.
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