On Wednesday, a South Dakota House committee approved a bill that would ban medical providers from prescribing hormones or gender confirmation surgery for transgender youth.
The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-Florence), originally made it a felony for any medical professional to provide treatments, including hormones or puberty blockers, to anyone under the age of 18.
The bill was subsequently amended to make the act of prescribing such treatments a Class 1 misdemeanor, lower the age at which a person can begin receiving the treatments from 18 to 16, and exempt medical support staff like nurses or medical assistants.
Under the revised bill, any doctor who provides transition-related treatments to a minor under the age of 16 could face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.
The measure was approved by the House State Affairs Committee by an 8-5 vote, with three Republicans voting against it, reports The Washington Post.
Critics of the bill say this will effectively discourage doctors not to provide any form of gender-affirming health care for transgender people, lest they face criminal charges.
They also noted during the hearing that fewer than four physicians in South Dakota offer puberty blockers and hormone therapies, and it is unclear if any perform gender confirmation surgeries — thus making the bill an exercise in political posturing, rather than addressing a specific problem or need.
Proponents of the bill take umbrage — as voiced in a National Review article by Madeleine Kearns — at the suggestion that the bill is anti-LGBTQ, saying that they are concerned that transgender teenagers are too young to make permanent decisions about their health and may live to regret those decisions.
Some members of the coalition pushing for the bill are so-called “ex-transgender” people or rely on claims from people within the “de-transition” movement who say that their transition did not help them with their underlying mental health issues or depression.
Indeed, Deutsch said the impetus for the bill was meeting people who formerly identified as transgender and claimed they were “hurting and suffering” as a result of undergoing surgical or hormonal treatments.
He admitted he consulted with the anti-LGBTQ Liberty Counsel and the Kelsey Coalition, a “nonpartisan,” volunteer-run organization that claims to be interested in protecting youth who identify as transgender.
Deutsch also attended a conference, hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation, which addressed proposals to ban transition-related treatments for youth in various states, the Post reports.
The Republicans who voted against the bill expressed reservations on how it would be enforced. Rep. Kent Peterson (R-Salem) questioned how the state would access confidential medical information and track prescriptions to ensure that they’re not being given to minors.
Majority Whip Michael Diedrich (R-Rapid City) said he was convinced by testimony from parents, transgender youth, and medical experts that puberty blockers have been helpful to people suffering from gender dysphoria, and that their effects aren’t permanent.
Diedrich attempted to remove puberty blockers from the list of treatments banned by the bill, but his amendment was defeated.
Dr. Alexis Chavez, the medical director for The Trevor Project, a trans psychiatrist who specializes in LGBTQ youth health and has founded several trans health care clinics, criticized the bill as harmful to trans youth.
“This dangerous bill threatens responsible medical professionals with imprisonment for providing best-practice medical care to transgender youth. It cannot be allowed to become law,” Chavez said in a statement.
“The research is clear: supporting transgender and non-binary youth in their identities has positive mental health outcomes and decreases suicide risk. Cutting off access to medically necessary care will cost lives,” Chavez added. “We call on South Dakota’s lawmakers to stop using trans young people as political pawns and to instead work to create safe and affirming environments for all youth to thrive.”
South Carolina lawmakers approved a provision in the proposed state budget that attacks gender-affirming care for transgender youth, but rejected two other anti-LGBTQ amendments.
Last week, the South Carolina Budget Conference Committee met to discuss points of disagreement on the budget, and are continuing to hammer out compromises between the House and Senate versions of the budget this week.
During last week's negotiations, the conference committee adopted a provision that prohibits state funds allocated to the Pediatric Transgender Clinic at the Medical University of South Carolina from being used to pay for transgender-affirming health care procedures for people under the age of 16. The provision does not prevent the clinic from providing medically necessary treatment so long as it is unrelated to gender transition, and does not prevent the clinic from offering mental health services to transgender youth.
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that Democrats want to turn children gay and transgender during a rant complaining about her political opponents and their values.
Greene was speaking on her MTG Live podcast about Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has become a hero to conservatives for his opposition to political correctness, COVID-19-related shutdowns, and "cancel culture," including the alleged (but not actual) suppression of conservative voices on social media platforms.
Musk, who is poised to buy the social media giant Twitter -- a development that some conservatives believe will usher in new policies protecting "free speech" -- was previously accused by a female flight attendant of SpaceX, Musk's space transportation firm, of exposing his genitalia to her, rubbing her leg, and offering to buy her a horse if she performed a sexual act for him. According to Business Insider, documents show Musk later paid the woman $250,000 as part of a severance agreement in 2018.
By Justin Walton on July 2, 2022
On June 27, Spain's Council of Ministers -- the government's key decision-making body, comprised of the country's prime minister, deputies, and ministers appointed by the king -- approved a draft of a gender-identification bill that would allow transgender people to legally change their gender.
The bill now heads to the Spanish Parliament, or Cortes Generales for approval, where it may be further amended before being passed into law, although lawmakers could still choose to scuttle the bill, which is already being criticized by feminist, women-centric organizations -- potentially creating complications for the Socialist-led government, which relies on several left-leaning groups as part of its governing coalition.
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