The South Dakota Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee voted against a bill that would have protected children struggling with sexual identity issues from body-disfiguring and life-altering drugs, hormones and surgeries.

HB 1057, “The Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” was first introduced in the state’s House of Representatives. Originally, it would have made it a felony for medical professionals to prescribe puberty blockers and opposite-sex hormones for those under the age of 18 who believe they are the opposite sex. The bill also banned transgender surgeries for these minors.

As it made its way through the legislature, the bill was amended several times. First, it was amended to apply to children and adolescents aged 15 and under. Then, the penalty was changed from a felony to a misdemeanor. That version was passed overwhelmingly by the House, on a vote of 46 to 23.

Finally, the legislation was amended in the Senate committee so that it still forbade these irreversible, body-damaging procedures, but the criminal penalties were removed. HB 1057 was amended so that minors whose bodies had been damaged by transgender drugs, hormones and surgeries could file suit against the physicians who injured them. The amended version allowed these lawsuits from age 18 up until age 38.

Five committee members voted against this final version of “The Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” while two voted in favor. Then, the committee voted to defer the bill until after the legislative session ended. This effectively killed the bill until the next session of the South Dakota legislature.

Those sponsoring the legislation said in the hearing that changing from criminal penalties to allowing civil suits would still protect children. Doctors would be forced to seriously weigh the risks before performing surgeries or prescribing drugs and hormones for gender-confused children. At the same time, they said the amendments also protected parental rights and kept the state from interfering with the doctor-patient relationship.

The committee heard testimony from gender dysphoric individuals who supported the ban for minors. In fact, a group of 100 transgender-identified adults signed a petition in favor of the bill. Their spokesperson warned against letting children make decisions that will affect their bodies the rest of their lives, citing huge expenses and ongoing medical problems from hormones and surgeries. The group noted that children should not be able to consent to experimental, risky procedures.

A 20-year-old young woman, Sydney Wright, sent in her testimony supporting the legislation. She lived a year as a “transman,” and described her life before that, saying she was “a healthy, beautiful girl, heading for high school graduation.” “But after taking testosterone for a year,” she continued, “I turned into an overweight, pre-diabetic nightmare of a transgender man.”

She spoke out because she’d been “failed by the medical system,” diagnosed as gender dysphoric, and put on high doses of testosterone, putting her at risk for “heart disease, diabetes and teenage menopause.” No doctor or therapist suggested other options, such as waiting until she’d grown up a little more or seeing a therapist.

Board-certified endocrinologist Dr. Michael Laidlaw backed the legislation as well, stating: “There are only two sexes. And it’s not scientifically possible to turn a boy into a woman or a girl into a man. Yet this is exactly what’s being attempted in an experimental, dangerous protocol called “affirmative care.”  

Laidlaw then went on to explain how these experiments include performing double mastectomies on 13-year-old girls and giving opposite-sex hormones to girls as young as eight. He testified that this work is promoted and performed by activist groups and went on to discuss the many harms caused by these procedures.

Although the bill failed in South Dakota, similar legislation is being considered in other states, including  ColoradoFloridaIllinoisKentuckyMissouriOklahoma, and South Carolina. Focus on the Family has affiliated state Family Policy Councils in Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and South Carolina. To make your voice heard and protect children in those states, here’s information on those groups:

Debbie Chaves, President

PO Box 558

Castle Rock, CO 80104

Phone: 877-239-7355

Email: [email protected]

For more on this issue:

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

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

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

South Dakota Legislation Would Protect Gender-Confused Children From Body-Altering Drugs, Hormones and Surgery

South Dakota Senate Considers Bill To Protect Young Girls From Testosterone Injections