published : 2023-09-06

Georgia Judge Allows Ban on Hormone Replacement Therapy for Transgender Minors

Ruling follows similar restriction granted to Alabama by federal appeals court

A photo of a transgender youth speaking at a rally in Georgia, advocating for access to hormone replacement therapy. (Taken with a Nikon D850)

A judge in Georgia has ruled that the state can resume enforcing its ban on hormone replacement therapy for transgender youth, putting a previous order blocking the ban on hold.

This ruling comes after a federal appeals court granted neighboring Alabama the ability to enforce a similar restriction last month, as Republican-led states across the country seek to prohibit gender transition treatment for people under 18 years old.

At least 22 states have enacted laws restricting or banning transgender treatment for minors, leading to multiple legal challenges.

While attorneys for the state of Georgia had asked Judge Sarah Geraghty to vacate the preliminary injunction, she did not go that far.

An image of attorneys presenting their case in court, representing the plaintiffs fighting against the ban on hormone therapy for transgender minors. (Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

However, she issued a stay on her injunction, recognizing the ruling on Alabama's law by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The judge left the door open for a possible rehearing of the Alabama case before a larger panel of the court's judges.

Georgia's Senate Bill 140, which went into effect on July 1, allows doctors to prescribe puberty-blocking medication, but new patients under 18 are prohibited from beginning hormone therapy.

The law also bans most gender-affirming surgeries for transgender children.

A picture of a concerned parent holding a sign that reads 'Support Trans Youth' during a protest against the restrictions on gender transition treatment for children. (Taken with a Sony Alpha A7 III)

Attorneys for the plaintiffs expressed disappointment, especially for the families who are unable to access the care they need or make medical decisions based on the best interest of their children.

They emphasized that their legal fight is far from over.