The bill would prohibit doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth
March 16, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the world’s leading suicide prevention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people, condemned the passage of SB 140 by the Georgia House of Representatives, which would ban doctors from providing best-practice medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth and impart criminal penalties on providers who do so. The bill is headed to the Senate for a final floor vote before full passage.
“It’s heartbreaking to see Georgia lawmakers seek to criminalize doctors who provide medically necessary care, putting young people in harm’s way. Research at The Trevor Project shows that 55% of transgender and nonbinary youth in Georgia seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 16% attempted suicide — this is a public health crisis that demands urgent action to increase access to health care and support systems,” said Troy Stevenson (he/him pronouns), Director of State Advocacy Campaigns for The Trevor Project. “The Georgia General Assembly should not be inserting itself into critical decisions best left to parents and doctors by imposing a blanket ban on best-practice medical care. We urge the Georgia Senate to reject this dangerous bill and to protect access to this essential health care that has been life-saving for so many.”
Research has also consistently found that transgender medical care, is associated with positive mental health outcomes including showing promise for reducing suicide risk. A 2021 peer-reviewed study by The Trevor Project, the first large-scale study of more than 9,000 youth who received gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT), found that GAHT was significantly related to lower rates of depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempts among transgender and nonbinary youth. Specifically for young people under age 18, receiving GAHT was associated with nearly 40% lower odds of recent depression and of a past-year suicide attempt.
According to The Trevor Project’s new polling, 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth say recent debates about state laws restricting the rights of transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health. When asked about new policies that will ban doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth, 74% of transgender and nonbinary youth said it made them feel angry, 59% felt stressed, 56% felt sad, 48% felt hopeless, 47% felt scared, 46% felt helpless, and 45% felt nervous.
Further, a 2022 poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of The Trevor Project found that a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (55%) and puberty blockers (52%) if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents. Only 1 in 3 adults polled said lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.