Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

South Carolina governor signs ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors

By 37ci3 May22,2024

COLUMBIA, SC – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster signed the law into law on Tuesday ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

When the ink was dry, South Carolina became the 25th state restrict or prohibit such care for minors. The governor announced the signing on social media and said he will hold a signing ceremony for the bill next week.

Law health professionals bar Perform gender reassignment surgery, prescribe puberty blockers and monitor hormone treatments for patients under 18 years of age.

School principals or vice principals must notify parents or guardians if a child wishes to use a name other than their legal name or nicknames or pronouns that do not match their birth gender.

The bill was amended in the Senate to allow mental health counselors to talk about banned treatments and even offer a place where it’s legal. Doctors can also prescribe puberty blockers for certain conditions for which they are prescribed, for example, when a child begins what is called early puberty – at the age of 4.

Groups including the Campaign for Southern Equality noted that the law was effective immediately. The group is gathering resources to help families find any help they need outside of South Carolina and the Southeast, which has similar bans.

“Health care is a human right, and it breaks my heart to see lawmakers deny that transgender youth in South Carolina receive life-affirming and often life-saving medical care. No one should be forced to leave their home state to get the care they need and deserve,” Raymond Velazquez, executive director of the Uplift Outreach Center, said in a statement after lawmakers passed the ban.

Earlier this year, McMaster said he supported the proposal to “keep our young people safe and healthy.”

“If they want to make those decisions later when they’re adults, that’s a different story, but we have to protect our young people from irreversible decisions,” the governor said.

As the bill was introduced in the General Assembly, doctors and parents testified before House and Senate committees that people under the age of 18 do not undergo gender reassignment surgery in South Carolina, and that hormone therapy begins only after extensive consultation with health care professionals.

They said the treatments could be life-saving, allowing young transgender people to live fuller lives. Studies have shown Transgender youth and adults experience stress, depression, and suicide when forced to live as the gender they were assigned at birth.

Proponents of the bill cited unpublished evidence that puberty blockers increase self-harm and may be irreversible.

Groups that help transgender people have vowed to continue working even under the new law.

“To all the young people and their parents in South Carolina who are reading this news and fearing for the future, please know: No law can change the fact that you deserve dignity, equality, joy and respect,” she said. Cristina Picozzi, executive director of the Harriet Hancock Center, an LBGTQ advocacy nonprofit group.

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By 37ci3

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