The South Carolina state legislature has approved a Help Not Harm bill into law protecting children from experimental and irreversible “transgender” medical interventions.

The legislature passed the bill (H. 4642) by overwhelming margins. The South Carolina House of Representatives passed H. 4642 on Jan. 17 in an 82-34 vote, while the state Senate passed an amended version of the bill on May 2 in an 28-8 vote. Subsequently, the House reapproved the Senate’s version on May 9 in an 67-26 vote.

The bill now awaits approval from South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.

The bill states,

A physician, mental health provider, or other health care professional shall not engage in the provision or performance of gender transition procedures to a person under eighteen years of age.

“Gender transition procedures” include “puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, or genital or nongenital gender reassignment surgery, provided or performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a physical gender transition.”

Importantly, the bill also provides guidance prohibiting school officials from withholding important information from parents regarding their child’s wellbeing. The bill states that no school staff shall:

  1. Encourage or coerce a minor to withhold from the minor’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex; or
  2. Withhold from a minor’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.

In an article for The State, South Carolina Sen. Danny Verdin explains why he voted for the Help Not Harm legislation.

“The appropriately-named legislation prohibits the performance of experimental, life-altering gender transition procedures upon minors,” Sen. Verdin wrote, adding,

Several studies have shown that children who are not exposed to transition procedures are more likely to desist from gender dysphoria over time.

Contrast this with the reality that in almost all circumstances, children who begin puberty blockers receive subsequent cross-sex hormones. This relationship between puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones was essential to the 2020 decision by England’s High Court which found that children were unlikely to be able to give informed consent for puberty blockers. Western Europe is reversing course on gender-affirming care for minors. South Carolina must avoid it altogether. …

We voted to ensure children are left to simply be children and experience a natural childhood, as God intended. We chose to help, not harm.

Should Gov. McMaster sign the Help Not Harm bill into law, South Carolina will become the 22nd state to enact legislation protecting children from damaging and irreversible “transgender” procedures.

Please pray more states will enact this important legislation. Consider getting involved with your state’s family policy council to enact positive change and help protect children in your community.

Focus on the Family exists to help families, and that includes help navigating the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism. Focus offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Related articles and resources:

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Transgender Resources

Addressing Gender Identity with Honesty and Compassion

The Journey Back to My True Identity

What is ‘Gender Identity’

Wyoming Enacts ‘Help Not Harm’ Bill Protecting Children from Transgender Medical Interventions

Several States Advancing ‘Help Not Harm’ Bills to Protect Children From Transgender Medical Interventions

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