Bill banning gender affirming care passes another legislative hurdle

Protesters stand in opposition for senate bill 140 outside of the Georgia Capitol.
Protesters stand in opposition for senate bill 140 outside of the Georgia Capitol.(Abby Kousouris)
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:31 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Senate Bill 140 advances toward a vote in the Georgia House of Representatives. On Tuesday, the state’s Public Health committee voted 12-10 in favor of the bill. The bill already passed in the Georgia Senate.

The bill brought fierce opposition and advocates to the state capitol. At Tuesday’s meeting, the committee heard from parents concerned for their children who are currently undergoing this type of care and others who feel these irreversible changes should only be made later in life.

On Tuesday, people protested outside of the Georgia Capitol.

A protestor named Jeremy Newman shouted to the crowd, “Kids who dont have access to care have higher rates of suicide depression, and anxiety. This bill could literally kill people,” said Newman.

LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

Roughly 3,000 minors in the state receive the hormones and surgeries that this bill seeks to ban. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Carden Summers, said minors can’t make up their minds before 18 because their brains are not fully developed.

“We want them to make their own decision after 18 years old, they can make their own decision after 18 years old,” said Summers.

The meeting room was packed with people when Leonardo Hinnent got up to speak in opposition to the bill.

“This bill would restrict essential care for minors, care that is one of the reasons I am still sitting here today,” said Hinnett.

Hinnent went through hormone therapy at 13 years old and surgery at 15: a decision that helped him feel more himself

“I don’t think I could be here speaking about this because I don’t think I could have survived the pain and anguish I felt before I transitioned. This bill won’t affect me as an adult, but I can’t imagine what I could have gone through if it was a few years before,” said Hinnett.