In South Dakota Monday, a bill was up for vote that would prevent people from surgically or chemically altering the bodies of children under 16 in an attempt to change their sex.
It was introduced last month by Rep. Fred Deutsch, who explained it this way to National Review:
“Every child in South Dakota should be protected from dangerous drugs and procedures. 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.”
On Monday, the Senate killed it.
House Bill 1057 was defeated in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee by a vote of 5-2.
Speaking to Sioux Fall’s KSFY, ACLU Policy Director Libby Skarin praised the move:
“Though supporters claimed House Bill 1057 was aimed at protecting vulnerable youth, it was clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender South Dakotans. It’s time we stop these attacks and the very real harm they cause to transgender youth across our state. Let this be a signal to the South Dakota Legislature that discrimination against a marginalized group is a distraction from the needs of the state and hurts us all.”
National Review provided more details of the bill:
The “Vulnerable Child Protection Act” proposed a ban on any procedures “for the purpose of attempting to change or affirm the minor’s perception of the minor’s sex,” including sex-change surgeries, puberty blockers, or the removal of “any otherwise healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue.” Medical professionals who went through with any of the operations could have been charged with a class 4-felony had the legislation passed.
“An ever-increasing number of people who had so-called sex reassignment as minors now find themselves regretting the decision as they’ve matured. Performing irreversible sex reassignment on a minor whose brain is still developing is wrong,” Deutsch said at the time of the bill’s release. “But we can 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.”
But it’s history now:
Deutsch said that the bill’s failure was “expected,” and that “unless the Senate can resurrect the bill . . . the issue is dead for the remainder of the year.”
“I am grateful for the input on both sides of the issue. I set out to have a conversation and bill supporters were successful in that because it heightened parents’ awareness about the issue,” he told National Review in an email. “I don’t believe Gov. Kristi Noem will welcome legislation like HB 1057 during the remainder of her term based on her behind-the-scenes opposition that I saw.”
There was even a last ditch effort to make the legislation more palatable. But, as observed by CNN, it didn’t work:
The committee on Monday amended the bill to remove the criminal charges for doctors, but added a provision that would have allowed a person to sue after the surgery. Still, the bill failed to gain the support it needed to advance to the full Senate for consideration.
The state’s senate is controlled by the Republican Party.
The same goes for the House.
And the governorship.
As per ballotpedia.org, the 2016 South Dakota GOP platform was composed of 7 main issues:
- Agriculture, natural resources and energy
- Economic development and jobs
- Health and human services
- Education and cultural affairs
- Governmental affairs
- Public safety and security
- Family and community values
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