Georgia Ban On Hormone Treatment For Minors Blocked By Federal Judge
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A federal judge in Georgia temporarily blocked part of a new state law that bans medical providers from performing most sex-change procedures on minors after the legislation took effect last month.

U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Geraghty in the Northern District of Georgia granted a preliminary injunction on Senate Bill 140 that bans providing gender transition surgery and hormone therapy for people under 18.

Geraghty, who President Joe Biden appointed, blocked part of a state law prohibiting hormone replacement therapy in favor of four anonymous children and their parents who sued the state, arguing the law “is substantially likely to violate the Equal Protection Clause.”

“The imminent risks of irreparable harm to Plaintiffs flowing from the ban — including risks of depression, anxiety, disordered eating, self-harm, and suicidal ideation — outweigh any harm the State will experience from the injunction,” Geraghty wrote in an 83-page opinion.

Geraghty said the plaintiffs showed a substantial likelihood of success on their equal protection claim that the minors face a risk of “irreparable harm.”

“Without an injunction, the middle-school age plaintiffs will be unable to obtain in Georgia a course of treatment that has been recommended by their health care providers in light of their individual diagnoses and mental health needs,” the ruling said.

The claim stands in sharp contrast to many medical journals that warn of the dangers of such treatments and provide little evidence of benefits to minors, as was highlighted in a recent hearing in the House Subcommittee on Health.

Earlier this year, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the law, which includes two major provisions that protect minors from receiving hormone replacement therapies and sex reassignment surgeries from medical providers who could lose their licenses if they violate the law.

Cole Muzio, president of the conservative Christian group Frontline Policy Action, reportedly pushed for more substantial restrictions and praised Kemp for signing the bill. Still, Muzio described the law as “one of the weakest in the country.”

“Gov. Kemp has never been afraid to protect children and we appreciate his continued commitment to standing against radical and harmful agendas,” Muzio said in a statement.


But days before the law took effect on July 1, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against the state on behalf of several children, parents, and a community organization challenging the ban, arguing the law “strips parents of their rights to make critical decisions about their child’s health care.”

“The situation creates an impossible choice for parents, who either must flee the state to ensure their child has access to medically necessary care or discontinue puberty blockers and watch their child suffer untreated gender dysphoria for years,” the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote in a statement.

More than 20 states across the U.S. have passed laws shielding minors from sex-change procedures but have met challenges from groups that claim the law violates the 14th Amendment.

While laws in states like Arkansas and Alabama have been put on hold, some have survived court challenges. In Tennessee, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled against a federal judge’s preliminary injunction blocking full implementation of the Volunteer State’s law.

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