(WHTM) — A group of Democratic Pennsylvania State Representatives is working to ban conversion therapy in Pennsylvania.

Izzy Smith-Wade-El of Lancaster as well as Malcolm Kenyatta and Jessica Benham introduced a bill that would prohibit mental health professionals from using the controversial practice on minors.

Get the latest Pennsylvania politics and election news with abc27 newsletters!

Smith-Wade-El says conversion therapy is “anti-gay bias masquerading as science,” and says it can be harmful to young people, causing depression, drug abuse, and sometimes suicide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have decried the scientifically discredited practice of trying to “convert” LGBTQ people to heterosexuality and traditional gender expectations as harmful, citing research suggesting the practice can increase the risk of suicide and depression.

At least 20 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy for minors, according to the Movement Advancement Project, a pro-LGBTQ rights think tank. 

LGBTQ rights have taken center stage in statehouses across the country since the year began. Republican lawmakers in at least 11 states have already introduced legislation to restrict access to transgender health care. Conservatives also have pushed to restrict conversations about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.

The Associated Press contributed to this report