SB 140: Georgia's Ban on Gender Affirming Care

The Dangers of Senate Bill 140

In the last few years, state have advanced a number of bills that attack LGBTQ rights, especially those of transgender youth. During the 2023 Legislative Session, Georgia lawmakers have added to this trend, introducing bills aimed at restricting care to transgender youth and limiting what can be taught in schools about LGBTQ+ issues.

Senate Bill (SB) 140 is an anti-transgender care bill that prevents transgender minors in Georgia from receiving gender-affirming surgeries and hormone therapy treatments. It imposes sanctions on hospitals and medical centers for providing gender affirming care and subjects licensed physicians to medical board violations, civil liability, and criminal charges for administering gender-affirming care. This legislation is a severe and detrimental overstep that keeps Georgia families from accessing safe and needed care. 

The initial version of SB 140 only banned gender affirming surgical procedures for minors, which are not typically performed in Georgia. An updated version also included a ban on hormone replacement therapy, and it passed out of the Senate on March 6, 2023. The most recent version passed out of the House Public Health Committee on March 14, 2023, adds criminal and civil liability to physicians who provide gender affirming care for minors. The amended bill is expected to be heard on the House Floor the week of March 20 before going back to the Senate. 

Hospitals and other medical institutions found to be in violation of SB 140 face sanctions, including revocation of institutions’ operational permits. Hospitals and medical institutions in local communities that provide care wholly unrelated to gender affirming procedures could be closed simply for offering hormone treatment to transgender youth. These implications reach beyond transgender minors not receiving needed care; it has the potential to exacerbate existing public health crises, especially in rural areas that struggle with medical access. Likewise, the range of disciplinary actions that licensed physicians face for violating SB 140 – including criminal charges and potential jail time – could prevent patients from receiving care from their regular, trusted doctors. SB 140 restricts physicians’ practice and limits medical access based on nothing but politics and transphobia.

Additional Resources

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