The South Dakota Legislature passed a bill to protect sexually confused minors from dangerous and irreversible medical interventions such as puberty blockers, opposite sex hormones and surgeries. The measure passed the House by a vote of 60 to 10 and the Senate by a vote of 30 to 4.
Family Heritage Alliance (FHA), a South Dakota ally of Focus on the Family, supported the bill, which now goes to Governor Kristi Noem. The Daily Citizen contacted FHA Executive Director Norman Woods, who told us:
With today’s vote, South Dakotans have said, “No more!”
No more chemical castration – no more experimental surgery – no more permanent damage to children’s bodies. The bill has passed with overwhelming support, and we look forward Governor Noem’s signature on the bill.
House Bill 1080, designated the “Help Not Harm Act” by supporters, states that health care professionals, in order to alter the appearance of a minor’s sex, may not:
(1) Prescribe or administer any drug to delay or stop normal puberty;
(2) Prescribe or administer testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, in amounts greater than would normally be produced endogenously in a healthy individual of the same age and sex;
(3) Perform any sterilizing surgery, including castration, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, penectomy, and vasectomy;
(4) Perform any surgery that artificially constructs tissue having the appearance of genitalia differing from the minor’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or
(5) Remove any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.
The measure allows some exceptions for “a medically verifiable disorder of sex development” (DSD). Also called “intersex” conditions, these are actual biological or chromosomal congenital conditions where a child is born with indeterminate or ambiguous genitalia, or where there is a mismatch between a child’s chromosomes and physical appearance.
Such physical conditions are very different from “transgender” ideology, which says that a person’s “gender identity” is different from their bodily reality. Rather than helping children embrace their biological maleness or femaleness, transgender idealogues argue that a person’s body must be changed to match this completely subjective, internal identity.
But such medical interventions are dangerous, harmful and irreversible, and there is no real evidence to show they work. As the Daily Citizen previously reported, the Institute for Research and Evaluation (IRE) published a review of the available medical and psychological literature, “Transgender Research: Five Things Every Parent and Policy-Maker Should Know.”
The review found:
Scientific evidence has not shown that cross-sex medical treatments are beneficial to children or adolescents. The research making these claims is not scientifically reliable. In fact, there is evidence of harmful impact. Consequently, a growing number of scientific agencies do not recommend such treatments. Instead, they recommend counseling and watchful waiting for gender-confused youth.
The research also demonstrates that “gender dysphoria,” the clinical term for sexual identity confusion, is usually resolved in children as they grow older.
Research shows gender dysphoria in children usually goes away on its own by young adulthood, if “transition” is not encouraged. This avoids the harmful effects of cross-sex medical interventions.
There is strong evidence showing that the vast majority (averaging about 85%) of children who experience gender dysphoria will resolve their gender identity confusion and accept their biological sex by the time they reach young adulthood, that is, if they are not subjected to “social transition” or cross-sex medical intervention.
Should Governor Noem sign the legislation, South Dakota would join Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Florida and Utah in moving to protect minors from these medical interventions, either through legislation or administrative actions.
Other states considering similar legislative action include Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and Texas.
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If you’re concerned about safeguarding children and want to help protect life, families and religious freedom, contact your state-based family policy council and see how you can become engaged in these important issues.
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