CAPITOL CONVERSATION: Latest on transgender doctor bill and what’s happening in the second week of session

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HB 1057

Introduced Passed Committee (8-5) Chamber Vote Next Chamber Governor’s Desk Bill Becomes Law

Purpose of bill: prohibit certain acts against children and provide a penalty therefor.

BREAKING NEWS: HB1057 was passed in the House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday morning.

The proposed ban on gender changes has been amended substantially. Now, it would apply only to children under age 16, penalty reduced to class 1 misdemeanor from class 4 felony, and fewer medical professionals affected.

The ACLU, Sanford Health, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the South Dakota State Medical Association, the South Dakota Retailers Association, the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, LEAD South Dakota and the Human Rights Campaign oppose the bill.

The proposed law would impact transgender children, their doctors and their families.

If passed, the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act” would make it a class four felony for South Dakota doctors to perform gender-changing or affirming surgeries on children. It would also make it illegal to prescribe puberty-halting medications and hormones to children.

Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-Brookings) introduced this bill to the House on Jan. 15.

“It is a bill to protect vulnerable South Dakota children who have some challenges with understanding if they’re a boy or a girl. It’s the same penalty as we established in the Female Genital Mutilation bill, I copied the penalty from that bill. I think of the procedures as similar, they’re both mutilating procedures,” Representative Fred Deutsch said.

Opponents of the bill say South Dakota medical providers don’t perform gender-affirming or changing surgeries on minors.

“What it does affect, is hormone blockers for youth, which just halts puberty. If you get off the pill or the injection, you go ahead and your hormones come back naturally,” Boots AmongTrees, the interim vice president with Sioux Falls Pride said.

Boots AmongTrees with Sioux Falls PRIDE says taking the medication away could lead to suicide.