A new bill in South Dakota would make it illegal to provide gender-affirming surgery or hormone replacement therapy to transgender minors.

The bill was introduced by Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch on Tuesday, and the bill has reportedly been fast-tracked to go up for a vote in South Dakota’s House of Representatives on Friday. 

House Bill 1057 would make it a Class 4 felony for a medical professional to perform a gender-affirming operation or surgery, as well as prescribing hormone replacement therapy to aid a child’s gender transition or in an attempt “to change or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s sex, if that perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex,” according to the text. 

Deutsch reportedly referred to the pending legislation as a “pause button” for minors experiencing gender dysphoria, a condition where a person feels distress when their gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. 

Called “The Vulnerable Child Protection Act”, Deutsch’s bill seeks to protect children from “dangerous drugs and procedures,” according to a statement Deutsch emailed to the National Review

He continued to say that “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.”

The bill has approximately 46 sponsors including Deutsch. 

The ACLU issued a statement yesterday in response to the proposed legislation, dispelling it as part of a "streak of discrimination of transgender youth in the state."

The South Dakota chapter continued to say “Transgender kids, like all kids, deserve a chance to experience joy, to learn in a safe environment, to get the health care that they need, and to survive into adulthood.”

—Updated Friday at 11:31 a.m.

Published on Jan 16, 2020