In a startling turn of events, a federal judge recently halted Georgia’s attempt to stop hormone treatments for transgender minors.
U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Geraghty issued the ruling Sunday.
The Blaze reported that Geraghty granted a preliminary injunction sought out by several transgender advocates.
Geraghty ruled: “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.”
Lambda Legal, the LGBT rights group, didn’t mince words when celebrating the ruling:
“Today, we won,” Lambda Legal said. “The court agreed that these legislative efforts to restrict access to health care for transgender minors have no basis in medicine or fact and are driven by animus alone.”
Georgia’s passage of Senate Bill 140 made it a felony for medical professionals to administer, prescribe or supply puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or administer medical or surgical treatments for the purpose of gender transition to anyone under 18.
The Associated Press reported the ruling will block Georgia from enforcing a ban on hormone replacement therapy until a court order or trial.
Geraghty wrote: “The desired outcome of the banned treatments — as no one disputes — is to begin a physical transition so that the adolescent patient’s development and appearance do not conform to those expected of the patient’s birth sex, but rather to the patient’s gender identity.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Geraghty determined that hormone therapy treatment improves mental health and reduces instances of self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
Countering the claim is a 2020 Heritage Foundation report arguing that hormone therapy does not indicate improved mental health.
Geraghty disagreed, ruling, “A ban on hormone therapy would deprive patients of the possibility of these benefits. It would, indeed, be likely to put some individuals at risk of the serious harms associated with gender dysphoria that gender-affirming care seeks to prevent.”
“Medical decisions belong with trans youth, their parents, and their doctor, not elected officials who base their decisions on political considerations,” Lambda Legal said.
The ruling was not celebrated by conservative lawmakers who initiated the legislation “to protect children.”
Medical groups are not in agreement regarding the safety, need and benefits of gender transition procedures.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society oppose laws that would criminalize medical professionals for providing gender-affirming care to minors.
However, the American College of Pediatricians takes an alternate view. Their website states: “There is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries for transgender-believing youth. This means that youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent, nor can minors provide assent for these interventions. Moreover, the best long-term evidence we have among adults shows that medical intervention fails to reduce suicide.”
Signaling a desire to use the recent ruling to press for change in other areas, Lambda Legal said: “Our fight is not over.”
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