Gov. Kemp signs legislation banning some gender-affirming care for trans youth into law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday that he has signed legislation that would prevent medical professionals from giving transgender children certain surgical treatments.

Kemp released a statement saying in part, "as elected leaders, it is our highest responsibility to safeguard the bright, promising, futures of our kids - and SB 140 takes an important step in fulfilling that mission."

Under the measure, most gender-affirming surgeries and hormone replacement therapies for transgender people under 18 would be banned in the state. Doctors could still prescribe medicines to block puberty under the bill.

Opponents said the measure would hurt transgender children by requiring physicians to violate medical standards of care. They also said it would block parents from doing what they think is best for their children.

Supporters argue transgender youth can decide to pursue further measures after they are adults. But opponents say such an enforced pause is harmful.

The ACLU released a statement shortly after the bill's signing pledging to fight the law.

"We will use every legal means at our disposal to block this bill from hurting children and families. It’s disturbing how quickly the governor acts to sign bills that take away people’s rights," said Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia.

The measure is part of a nationwide effort by conservatives to restrict transgender athletes, gender-affirming care and drag shows.

Judges have temporarily blocked laws limiting the treatment of transgender youth in Arkansas and Alabama, and opponents have suggested that such a law would be found unconstitutional by federal and state courts in Georgia.

Governors in Mississippi, Utah and South Dakota have signed similar bills.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 5 for updates.