Representative Fred Deutsch introduced “The Vulnerable Child Protection Act” to the South Dakota legislature to protect children struggling with their sexual identity.

House Bill 1057 (HB 1057) prohibits medical professionals from prescribing puberty blockers or opposite sex hormones to minors whose self-perception is inconsistent with biological reality. The bill also forbids doctors from performing surgeries – including castration, mastectomies and hysterectomies – on minors who think they are the opposite sex.

“The Vulnerable Child Protection Act” makes it a Class 4 felony for medical professionals who violate the act, with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines up to $30,000.

The bill currently has 46 co-sponsors – 34 representatives and 12 senators. HB 1057 does not apply to children “born with a medically-verifiable genetic disorder of sex development,” commonly called “intersex” conditions.

In a press release, Deutsch said, “Every child in South Dakota should be protected from dangerous drugs and treatments.” He contends that children struggling with sexual identity confusion need encouragement and direction, not experimental medical procedures.

Deutsch argues: “The solution for children’s identification with the opposite sex isn’t to poison their bodies with mega-doses of the wrong hormones, to chemically or surgically castrate and sterilize them, or to remove healthy breasts and reproductive organs. The solution is compassionate care, and that doesn’t include catastrophically and irreversibly altering their bodies.”

Dr. Michelle Cretella is a pediatrician who agrees with Deutsch. She’s the Executive Director of the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a group that works to promote the health and well-being of children. In a previous interview about this issue, she said that “puberty is not a disease” and explained that puberty blockers rob youth of their natural growth and developmental process. Dr. Cretella said that these children can “never get back the time of normal biopsychosocial development that was stolen from them.”

In a website explaining the bill, Deutsch lists some of the risks and potential harms for children who are encouraged to “transition” to the opposite sex. These health risks include: “low bone density, disfiguring acne, high blood pressure, weight gain, abnormal glucose tolerance, breast cancer, liver disease, thrombosis, and cardiovascular disease.” He also notes that there is little research to support hormones and surgery for gender-confused children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved puberty blockers for treating gender dysphoria.

Despite this lack of evidence, and despite the fact that there is no objective, scientific test for “gender identity,” doctors are prescribing these drugs, hormones and surgeries for hundreds of young children. The first U.S. clinic for gender confused youth opened in 2007 in Boston, now there are dozens of treatment centers across the country, with girls as young as thirteen having double mastectomies.

Medical treatment for the gender-confused has become a big business. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported performing 3,250 transgender surgeries in 2016, an increase of 19% over the previous years. Worldwide, the “sex reassignment surgery market” is projected to approach 1 billion dollars a year by 2024.

Deutsch says that a growing “number of people who had so called sex reassignment as minors now find themselves regretting the decision as they’ve matured.” He believes offering drugs, hormones and surgery to children and adolescents, whose brains are still maturing, is wrong. His goal is to “try to prevent harm to those who may later regret it by hitting the pause button before someone pushes a child into a mistake today that cannot be corrected tomorrow.”

More on HB 1057:

South Dakota residents who want to take action on this issue can connect with Family Heritage Alliance (FHA), a Focus on the Family affiliated Family Policy Council. FHA has a website where voters can contact their state representatives and senators about HB 1057:

Find out more about “The Vulnerable Child Protection Act” at the HB 1057 informational website:

Sign a petition to encourage South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to support banning drugs and surgery for gender-confused minors.

For more about gender dysphoria and children:

British Lawsuit Says Children Are Too Young To Consent To ‘Transgender’ Medical Procedures

Focus on the Family: Transgender Resources

Hospitals and Doctors “Transition” Hundreds of Children with Drugs, Hormones and Surgery

Questioning Drugs, Hormones and Surgery for Youth Confused about Their Sexual Identity