Federal Judge Rules Against Georgia’s Prohibition of Hormone Treatment for Minors Identifying as Transgender

In a fascinating twist, a federal judge has put a pause on Georgia’s endeavor to block hormone treatments for minors identifying as transgender.

The decision came on Sunday from U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Geraghty.

According to The Blaze, Geraghty approved a preliminary injunction that had been requested by numerous 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.”

The enactment of Senate Bill 140 in Georgia established a felony offense for medical practitioners who provide puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or medical/surgical gender transition treatments to individuals under 18.

As per The Associated Press, the decision will prevent Georgia from implementing the prohibition on hormone replacement therapy until a court order or trial is held.

Judge 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.”

As per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Geraghty concluded that hormone therapy treatment enhances psychological well-being and decreases occurrences of self-harm and suicidal ideation.

Contrary to this stance, a 2020 report from the Heritage Foundation contends that hormone therapy does not correlate with better 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.”

Consensus among medical associations is lacking when it comes to the safety, necessity, and advantages of gender transition interventions.

While the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Endocrine Society are against legislation that would make it a crime for healthcare providers to offer gender-affirming treatments 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.”