Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) signed legislation Monday that protects minor children and teens from experimental puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and mutilating irreversible surgeries for the treatment of gender confusion.
In signing HB 1080, the “Help Not Harm” bill, into law, Noem said in a statement, “South Dakota’s kids are our future. With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures.”
“I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans,” the governor added.
South Dakota’s kids are our future.
I am signing HB 1080 to protect our kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures.
I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans. pic.twitter.com/vRsCHGihLO
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) February 13, 2023
The bill defines “minor” as “any person under the age of 18,” and “sex” as “the biological indication of male and female, as evidenced by sex chromosomes, naturally occurring sex hormones, gonads, and nonambiguous internal and external genitalia present at birth.”
The legislation prohibits a healthcare professional from “attempting to alter the appearance of, or to validate a minor’s perception of, the minor’s sex, if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”
Healthcare professionals are barred from administering the following to minors:
(1) Prescribe or administer any drug to delay or stop normal puberty;
(2) Prescribe or administer testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, in amounts greater than would normally be produced endogenously in a healthy individual of the same age and sex;
(3) Perform any sterilizing surgery, including castration, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, penectomy, and vasectomy;
(4) Perform any surgery that artificially constructs tissue having the appearance of genitalia differing from the minor’s sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or
(5) Remove any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.
Exceptions to the law are situations involving “a minor born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development, including external biological sex characteristics that are irresolvably ambiguous,” one “diagnosed with a disorder of sexual development,” and a minor “needing treatment for an infection, injury, disease, or disorder that has been caused or exacerbated by any action or procedure prohibited by” the new law.
Before July 1, a healthcare professional who has begun hormone drug treatment for a minor and determines immediate withdrawal from the drugs could cause harm, may gradually taper off the drugs up until December 31.
Healthcare professionals who are found not to comply with the law can have their license to practice revoked by the appropriate professional or occupational licensing board.
Additionally, minors who have received transgender medical interventions may sue their providers until the patients reach the age of 25.
A study published in June by the Heritage Foundation found that contrary to the message of transgender activists that children and teens must be immediately “affirmed” in their new gender identity to avoid suicide, states that allow minors to obtain puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones without parental consent have a higher likelihood of youth suicide.
“Lowering legal barriers to make it easier for minors to undergo cross-sex medical interventions without parental consent does not reduce suicide rates – in fact, it likely leads to higher rates of suicide among young people in states that adopt these changes,” researcher Jay Greene, Ph.D. noted.
The prevalence of radical gender ideology in the United States has driven the country to offer children greater access to transgender medical interventions than is now available in Europe, a study by Do No Harm found.
Compared to the United States, “Europe goes a safer and more scientific route,” said the diverse group of physicians, healthcare professionals, patients, and policymakers seeking to “protect healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology.”
In 2022, the movement to safeguard gender-dysphoric youth made pivotal ground. Sweden & England followed Finland in sharply curbing the provision of hormones & surgery. The year ended with a leading Dutch newspaper questioning the Dutch gender clinic./1https://t.co/IuqC51ZhWq
— SEGM (@segm_ebm) January 2, 2023
Following its analysis of the laws and policies of European countries, the group concluded, “the United States is the most permissive country when it comes to the legal and medical gender transition of children.”
“Only France comes close,” Do No Harm’s report explained, “yet unlike the U.S., France’s medical authorities have recognized the uncertainties involved in transgender medical care for children and have urged ‘great caution’ in its use.”
The European “consensus,” the organization continued, is “grounded in medical science and common sense,” while the U.S. “should reconsider the gender-affirming care model to protect the youngest and most vulnerable patients.”
In England, Dr. Hilary Cass, a pediatrician who led a review of transgender medical interventions for adolescents in her country, wrote, “The most difficult question is whether puberty blockers do indeed provide valuable time for children and young people to consider their options, or whether they effectively ‘lock in’ children and young people to a treatment pathway.”
Cass recommended the closure of Britain’s Tavistock & Portman National Health Service (NHS) Clinic which, previously, had led the way in prescribing puberty blockers for young children claiming to be transgender.
The north London clinic had “been accused of rushing teenagers into life-altering treatment on hormone-blocking drugs,” The Times of London reported as the clinic’s closure was announced.
Tavistock had prescribed puberty blockers to children as young as 10 years of age.
Children under the age of 16 are now referred to children’s hospitals which, according to NHS, will provide a “holistic” approach to gender dysphoria that includes “strong links to mental health services.”
The news of Tavistock’s closure accompanied similar announcements in Sweden and France citing “low quality” evidence for hormone treatment for gender dysphoric youth and the need for emphasis on the risks of transgender medical interventions and “their irreversible nature.”
Similarly, in 2020, Finland announced it would no longer adhere to transition recommendations for transgender youth established by the controversial World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). Instead, mental health treatment would be urged as the primary treatment for children diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
In a Project Veritas investigative report released in October, a “gender-affirming” doctor associated with WPATH’s Global Education Institute expressed concern that minors do not have the capacity to comprehend the ramifications of life-altering gender transition procedures.
“Some of the Dutch researchers started – gave some data about young adults who had transitioned and have reproductive regret – like regret – and it’s there,” British Columbia Children’s Hospital pediatric endocrinologist Daniel Metzger, M.D. told his viewers during a video conference. “And I don’t think any of that surprises us.”
Metzger said 14-year-olds do not comprehend the long-term consequences of transgender treatments, particularly when it comes to sterility and future regrets about no longer being able to have children:
It’s always a good theory to talk about fertility preservation with a 14-year-old, but I know I’m talking to a blank wall, and the same would happen for a cisgender kid right? They’ll be like, “Ewww – kids, babies. Gross.” Or, the usual stock answer is, “I’m going to adopt, just gonna adopt.” And then you ask them, “Well, what does that involve? Like, how much does that cost?” “Oh, I thought you just like went to the orphanage and they gave you a baby.” “No, it’s not quite like that.”
“We are dealing with what may be the biggest medical and ethical scandal of modern times,” board-certified endocrinologist Dr. William Malone told Fox News Digital in January. “Transgender medicine is big business, and youth who are transitioning today will be medical patients for life, for the next 60-plus years. Mental health among youth is at an all-time low, making them particularly vulnerable to solutions that suggest an ‘easy fix.’”
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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Kristi Noem” by Governor Kristi Noem. Background Photo “Young Female Child” by Skitterphoto.