By a 46 to 23 vote, the South Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill that prohibits medical professionals from performing “sex change” procedures on minors.
HB 1057, named the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” was introduced by State Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, had 34 co-sponsors in the House, including Speaker Steve Haugaard, R-Sioux Falls. The legislation also has 12 sponsors in the South Dakota Senate who will take up the bill next.
The bill specifically bans medical professionals from performing surgical procedures on minors (such as a mastectomy, castration, or hysterectomy) to attempt to change the appearance of a minor to that of the opposite sex.
HB 1057 also prohibits medical professionals from giving medication such as puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors for the same reason.
The bill provides an exception for “the good faith medical decision of a parent or guardian of a minor born with a medically-verifiable genetic disorder of sex development.”
If the bill becomes law, medical professionals who violate it will commit a Class 1 misdemeanor that is punishable up to one-year imprisonment and $2000 in fines.
The bill received opposition from the LGBT lobby, as well as the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Michael K. Laidlaw, M.D., a practicing endocrinologist and frequent critic of medically transitioning youth diagnosed with gender dysphoria testified before the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee last week in support of the legislation.
The legislation is the first of its kind and thus received national attention. American Principles Project, a socially conservative group, located outside of Washington, DC, applauded the vote as a move to protect South Dakota’s children.
“The brave legislators who voted in favor of this critical bill today deserve a lot of credit. Despite scare tactics from radical gender activists on the left and the weak-kneed Chamber of Commerce on the right, the South Dakota House of Representatives put families first and rejected this dangerous gender ideology which is destroying the lives of so many vulnerable young people,” Terry Schilling, executive director for the group, said in a released statement.
“We thank the GOP leadership in the House for their principled stand for families and children, and we encourage the Senate and Gov. Kristi Noem to do the right thing by passing this landmark legislation and signing it into law,” he added.
Disclosure: This writer works with American Principles Project.