- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Georgia lawmaker is drafting a bill that would punish doctors with felony charges for helping a minor change sex using surgical procedures or hormones.

State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, Powder Springs Republican, said her bill would protect children from having irreversible medical procedures done at age when they are uncontroversially categorized as too young to give real consent.

“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,” she told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia currently requires a parent to consent to a minor’s surgery or prescribed medication. Ms. Ehrhart said certain details remained uncertain as she is still drafting a bill, but she said it might also prevent parents from consenting to gender-transition procedures.

“There may be some implication for the responsibility of the parent to subject the child to this sort of dangerous medical intervention,” she said.

The bill would not bar doctors from working with transgender adults.

Citing a press release from Ms. Ehrhart, the Journal-Constitution reported that the bill would ban “mastectomy, vasectomy, castration and other forms of genital mutilization” for the purpose of changing sexes as well as prescribing “puberty-blocking drugs to stop or delay normal puberty and cross-sex hormone therapy.”

“The removal of otherwise healthy or non-diseased body parts from minor children would also be prohibited,” the press release said.

Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, told the AJC that Ms. Ehrhart’s bill is “shameful” and part of a “dangerous trend from the most conservative forces to demonize and strip transgender individuals of their humanity.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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