Republican Georgia and Iowa lawmakers sent bills banning sex-change procedures for minors to their governors’ desks this week. Iowa has passed its bill into law, and Kemp signed the bill Thursday afternoon.
Georgia Senate Bill 140, which passed along party lines, prohibits injecting children with hormones and surgically mutilating their bodies “for the treatment of gender dysphoria.” Doctors may still be able to prescribe puberty-blocking drugs, however, as the bill only blocks “irreversible procedures or therapies.” Puberty blockers do inflict irreversible physical damage, but their proponents claim otherwise.
Parental rights advocates still welcome the bill as a step in the right direction.
“This new measure will give Georgia children the legal protections they desperately need,” Kimberly Fletcher, founder and president of Moms For America, said in a press release. “Too many states continue to defend sexual mutilation of children by refusing to implement laws that would properly protect them. This must change.”
On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed SF538 into law, which states that Iowa medical professionals “shall not knowingly engage in or cause any” treatments “for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of, or affirm the minor’s perception of, the minor’s gender or sex, if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”
The law also prevents doctors from removing a healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue, as well as banning the prescription of hormone blockers to complicate puberty.
“Children should not be pushed to receive experimental medical treatments that can leave them permanently sterile and physically marred for life,” Jeff Edler, a Republican state senator, told The Des Moines Register. “Iowa has a duty to protect its citizens, especially our children.”
In addition to banning body mutilation surgeries for children, Reynolds also signed SF482, a law that would prevent transgender-identifying students from using the opposite sex’s public-school bathrooms.
“Denying the truth that we are either male or female hurts real people, especially vulnerable children,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp said in a press release. “By enacting this legislation, Iowa has taken critical steps to protect children from radical activists that peddle gender ideology and pressure children into life-altering, experimental procedures and drugs. Young people deserve to live in a society that doesn’t subject them to risky experiments to which they cannot effectively consent.”
Georgia and Iowa join eight other states that have passed protections for children from sex-change surgeries, including Mississippi, Florida, Utah, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, South Dakota, and Tennessee. Missouri and Kentucky’s legislatures have passed similar bills that are awaiting their governors’ signatures.
This article has been updated since publication with Kemp’s signing of the Georgia bill into law.