South Carolina Governor Signs Bill Banning Gender Transition Procedures on Minors

Gov. Henry McMaster said that he signed the bill to protect South Carolina children from ‘irreversible gender transition procedures.’

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday signed into law a bill that would prohibit health care professionals from performing gender transition procedures on minors in the state.

Mr. McMaster said he believes that the “Help Not Harm” bill, or H4624, would “protect our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and ban public funds from being used for them.”
“I look forward to joining legislators and supporters at a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week,” the Republican governor stated on the social media platform X.

This bill would ban physicians and other health care professionals from providing gender transition procedures—such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgeries—to those under 18.

“Public funds may not be used directly or indirectly for gender transition procedures,” the legislation states.

Under this bill, physicians would be able to continue providing puberty blockers and hormone treatments to minors who began these treatments before Aug. 1, 2024, if the health care professionals determine that immediately discontinuing the treatment would cause harm to the minor.

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The bill states that health care professionals “may institute a period during which the person’s use of the drug or hormone is systematically reduced,” but this period must not extend beyond Jan. 31, 2025.

It added that gender transition procedures performed on minors beyond these rules would be “subject to discipline” by the licensing entity with jurisdiction overseeing the health care professionals.

“A physician who knowingly performs genital gender reassignment surgery in violation of this chapter is guilty of inflicting great bodily injury upon a child as provided for in Section 16-3-95(A),” it stated.

The legislation also prohibits public school employees from encouraging or coercing a minor “to withhold from the minor’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.”

Joseph Kohm, the policy director at the Family Policy Alliance, supported the bill and said that South Carolina was the 23rd state in the country to pass such a measure.

“H4624, which is based on our model Help Not Harm bill, will protect vulnerable South Carolina children struggling with gender dysphoria from the irreversible harm of so-called gender transition procedures.

“These dangerous, experimental, and irreversible procedures include mastectomies or ‘top surgery,’ as well as puberty blocking drugs and cross sex hormones,” Mr. Kohm said in a statement on May 17.

LGBTQ Rights Organizations Voice Opposition

Some LGBTQ rights organizations have criticized the bill. Chase Glenn, a leader in the S.C. United for Justice & Equality, said the bill’s passage would “make it immeasurably harder for transgender youth and many adults to access the life-saving healthcare that they need and deserve.”

“But let me be clear: This loss does not crumble a movement. Our movement supporting transgender people in South Carolina is louder and stronger than it’s ever been,” Mr. Glenn said in a press release.

“We’ve marched at the State House, we’ve told our stories, and we’ve made sure our lawmakers heard from us. Now, we will do everything in our power to support our community through this crisis,” he added.

Jace Woodrum, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Carolina, expressed his disappointment with the bill’s passage and criticized Mr. McMaster for signing the bill.

“We stand in grief and solidarity with LGBTQ South Carolinians, who are increasingly under attack by our own government. We can put to rest the notion that the governor cares about limited government and personal freedom,” Mr. Woodrum said in a statement.

“With the stroke of a pen, he has chosen to insert the will of politicians into healthcare decisions, trample on the liberties of trans South Carolinians, and deny the rights of the parents of trans minors,” he added.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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