State lawmakers in Georgia will soon be debating a hot-button issue: Allowing young children to take life-altering drugs to transition from male to female.
State Rep. Ginny Ehrhart is expected to introduce legislation making it a felony in the state for doctors to perform gender transition surgery on minors or to prescribe puberty-blocking drugs.
Ehrhart, a Republican representing the 36th District, has said her proposal does not affect doctors working with adults undergoing gender transition.
"We’re talking about children that can’t get a tattoo, or smoke a cigar or a cigarette in the state of Georgia," Ehrhart told the media, "but can be castrated and get sterilized."
Cole Muzio of the Family Policy Alliance of Georgia says children with a psychological condition need care and understanding, and it causes pain for both children and adults who suffer with gender confusion.
“We need to be sensitive of that,” he says. “But it is a psychological condition and you don't treat psychological conditions with surgery.”
A divorced couple’s legal fight in Texas over their 8-year-old boy made headlines in 2019, since the mother of James Younger claimed he was transgender and dressed him in girl’s clothing. But the boy’s father said that wasn’t true and sued to win the legal right to make medical decisions for his son. A family court judge eventually ruled the parents can make joint decisions.
Rep. Ehrhart’s proposal would put legal restraints on medical personnel and would keep parents from getting the hormones, drugs and surgery for their children.
Anyone else such as school counselors, who try to facilitate the gender change for a child, would be prohibited from doing so.
"This is mutilation," Muzio says of the surgery, "and it's barbarism to do this to kids."