South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has signed a bill banning transgender treatments, including hormones and certain surgeries, for minors.
The “Help Not Harm” bill, HR 1080, prohibits doctors from performing any sterilizing surgery on a minor, which includes castrations, hysterectomies, oophorectomies, orchiectomies, penectomies, and vasectomies.
It additionally bans any surgery that artificially constructs tissue having the appearance of genitalia differing from the minor’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty — as well as any surgery that removes healthy or non-diseased body parts or tissue.
“South Dakota’s kids are our future. With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures,” said Governor Noem in a statement. “I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans.”
The bill goes into effect on July 1. Medical professionals who do not comply could lose their licenses or be open to civil lawsuits.
Healthcare professionals who have initiated treatment for transgender minors before the bill goes into effect may continue providing prescriptions and systematically reducing them until December 31, 2023 — if they have documentation showing that terminating the use immediately would cause harm to the patient.
Those who oppose the bill claim that parents should be allowed to decide if they want to sterilize their children.
“This ban denies transgender and nonbinary youth crucial support and care. Even in the face of professional guidance from every major medical and mental health association in the country that supports this type of care, politicians are intruding into the private medical decisions best left to transgender young people and their families,” said Casey Pick, director of law and policy for the Trevor Project, according to a report from The Hill.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a similar bill last month.
“Legislation that impacts our most vulnerable youth requires careful consideration and deliberation,” Cox said in a statement on January 28. “More and more experts, states and countries around the world are pausing these permanent and life-altering treatments for new patients until more and better research can help determine the long-term consequences.”
Utah Outlaws Providing Sex-Altering Surgery or Hormones to Minors
“While we understand our words will be of little comfort to those who disagree with us, we sincerely hope that we can treat our transgender families with more love and respect as we work to better understand the science and consequences behind these procedures,” Cox said.