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Georgia lawmaker drafting bill to make it a felony for doctors to aid a minor's gender transition

She was inspired by a high-profile custody battle in Texas

Image source: Ginny Erhart for Georgia Facebook page

A Georgia state representative is drafting legislation that would make it a felony for a medical provider to aid a minor in the process of changing genders, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The bill is being written by Republican state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, a first-term lawmaker who won the seat after her husband held it for the previous 30 years.

Ehrhart said she was moved to author the bill by the case of a 7-year-old Texas boy caught in a custody battle between a mother who wants facilitate a gender transition and a father who opposes it.

The goal of the bill would be to prevent children from undergoing permanent physical changes at a young age when they may not be equipped to make such an irreversible decision.

"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," Ehrhart said.

Doctors would be prohibited from performing gender transition surgeries or administering medications for that purpose.

Specifically, doctors would not be allowed to perform mastectomies, vasectomies, castration, or other forms of genital mutilation on minors for the purpose of gender transition. The bill would criminalize "the removal of otherwise healthy or non-diseased body parts from minor children," according to a news release.

Doctors would be prohibited from prescribing or administering puberty blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones to minor patients.

"These children are suffering from a psychological condition without biologic basis," said Atlanta-based pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Quentin Van Meter in the release. "Using the bludgeon of threatened suicide as justification is first of all cruel, and secondly, not supported by valid published studies."

Ehrhart has said she would also consider potential consequences for parents who facilitate gender transition procedures or treatments for minors.

"We're still dealing with the issue on the parents' side," Ehrhart said. "In its present draft, the law specifically deals with the health care professionals licensed in the state of Georgia to perform these procedures or prescribe these drugs. This is not about adults changing their gender after the age of consent, or an indictment of the transgender community."

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