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Federal judge issues temporary injunction against Georgia’s gender-affirming care ban

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A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction against part of Georgia’s new gender-affirming care ban.

S.B. 140 was signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) in March. It revokes the licenses of medical professionals who administer surgeries or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for transgender people under the age of 18. The law creates an exemption for cisgender youth; they are allowed gender-affirming care to conform to their sex assigned at birth.

The injunction reportedly blocks the part of the law banning HRT from going into effect, while the ban on gender-affirming surgery still stands (though trans minors almost never receive gender-affirming surgery anyway).

Despite banning HRT, S.B. 140 does not ban puberty blockers. The Human Rights Campaign said allowing one but not the other essentially creates a “bridge to nowhere.”

The injunction came as the result of a lawsuit filed by the parents of four transgender girls, with the help of the Human Rights Campaign, The ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The lawsuit argues that S.B. 140 “violates the fundamental rights of parents to make medical decisions to ensure the health and well-being of their children” and also “violates the guarantees of equal protection by denying transgender youth essential, and often lifesaving, medical treatment based on their sex and on their transgender status.”

“Prohibiting access to necessary medical care is just cruel,” Beth Littrell, Senior Supervising Attorney for LGBTQ Rights and Special Litigation at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said in a statement. “The Healthcare Ban displaces parents’ ability to make decisions in the best interest of their children, disregards the collective knowledge of the medical community, and condemns children to years of suffering. Laws like this are predicated on prejudice, misinformation, and manufactured fears, and they are as indefensible as they are unconstitutional.”

The American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all rejected claims that gender-affirming care harms transgender children or adults.

At the time Kemp signed the bill, The Human Rights Campaign State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel Cathryn Oakley said that he “should be ashamed of himself — taking life-saving care away from vulnerable youth is a disgusting and indefensible act.”

“This law harms transgender youth and terrorizes their families, but helps no one.”

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