Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Law Banning Puberty Blockers, Surgery for Trans Youth in South Dakota

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
February 14, 2023US News
Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Law Banning Puberty Blockers, Surgery for Trans Youth in South Dakota
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston on May 27, 2022. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) signed the “Help Not Harm” bill into law on Monday, effectively banning certain medical and surgical interventions, such as puberty blockers and genital surgery, for trans youth.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, prohibits health care providers from violating the ban or they risk having their medical license revoked, and possible legal action. The state Senate approved the bill on Feb. 9.

“South Dakota’s kids are our future. With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures,” Noem said in a statement. “I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans.”

According to the text of the bill, HB 1080 prohibits health care professionals from prescribing or administering certain medical and surgical interventions for minors to attempt to alter their appearance or perception of their sex.

These interventions include prescribing drugs to delay puberty and administering hormones in amounts greater than what is typically produced endogenously in a healthy individual of the same age and sex, such as testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone.

The law also blocks doctors from performing sterilization surgeries or surgeries that artificially construct genitalia differing from the minor’s sex, and procedures that remove healthy or non-diseased body parts or tissue.

Minors with medically-verifiable disorders of sex development are exempt from the ban, including those diagnosed with a disorder of sexual development or needing treatment for infections, injuries, diseases, or disorders by the prohibited interventions.

The law also establishes penalties for health care professionals who violate the prohibitions and provides a window for minors who had already started a prohibited course of treatment to have the treatment gradually reduced.

The bill defines “sex” as the biological indicators of male and female as determined by chromosomes, hormones, gonads, and genitalia present at birth.

One of the four Democratic senators in the state proposed an amendment to allow minors to access puberty blockers for counseling purposes, but it was defeated in the Republican-dominated Senate. Another amendment, which would have required the South Dakota Department of Social Services to provide mental health counseling to minors with gender dysphoria, was also rejected.

Similar legislation has been introduced in over 20 states to limit or prohibit “gender-affirming care” for minors. Although bans have been passed in Utah, Alabama, and Arkansas, they are currently blocked by courts as lawsuits continue.

Tennessee Senate Passes Similar Bill

The Tennessee Senate approved a similar bill banning health care professionals from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and related surgeries to trans youth in the state.

The legislation passed along party lines with Republicans voting in favor, 26-6.

Supporters claim that the bill is intended to safeguard children, while opponents argue that such decisions are made in conjunction with parents and physicians.

Chloe Cole, 18, who told the Tennessee state Senate that she “fell victim” to so-called “gender-affirming care” when she was 15, welcomed the bill’s progress.

NTD Photo
Chloe Cole takes part in a demonstration in Anaheim, Calif., on Oct. 8, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“HB1 in Tennessee will protect children from the gender cult,” Cole said. “I’m confident we will see a day when children are no longer sterilized and surgically harmed in the name of a perverse and sexual ideology in Tennessee.”

Cole was 15 when a doctor allowed her to undergo a double mastectomy procedure as part of what Cole believed at the time to be the only treatment for her gender dysphoria.

In numerous testimonies and interviews around the country, Cole has asserted that doctors and other health care professionals lied to her parents to convince them that she would kill herself if she doesn’t medically transition to a male.

In testimony to the Tennessee state legislature, Coles said only started to feel suicidal after she commenced treatment for gender dysphoria.

Cole said doctors were negligent with her, treating her as an adult and not a child. Years later, she says she suffers physically as a result of the medications she was given as a child and the surgeries designed to permanently change the sex of her body.

The bill’s sponsor in Tennessee, Sen. Jack Johnson, said the legislation will help “minor children who otherwise might be subjected to surgical procedures that remove body parts or being prescribed medications that make permanent changes to a child’s body,” Fox 17 reported.

The bill will now be considered by the Tennessee House.

From The Epoch Times

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