SD State lawmakers want ban on gender surgery, puberty blockers

The “Help Not Harm” bill is intended to prevent healthcare providers from giving children under 18 puberty blockers or gender surgeries.
Livestream and VOD for Dakota News Now
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 8:17 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota state lawmakers want to prevent children from being able to medically “transition” to the opposite sex, an operation that would give said children the ability to sue providers later in life.

Rep. Bethany Soye (R-Sioux Falls) introduced HB 1080 Tuesday morning.

“Under the guise of “medical treatment,” children are being mutilated, sterilized, and being turned into permanent medical patients,” Soye said during a press conference hosted by Family Heritage Alliance (FHA).

Similar bills have been introduced in previous sessions but have failed due to opposition from a number of Republicans, and because of pressure from medical establishments that provide the procedures to transgender youth.

However, the issue has received more attention recently in South Dakota, following a report by the National Review, and a “gender identity summit” held in Sioux Falls last week.

“80 to 90% of children who are struggling with their identities will come to accept and thrive as their biological sex,” Soye said. “That is why this bill is needed now.”

Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) is one of a number of co-sponsors on the bill.

“We have heard stories of children as young as eight in South Dakota being injected with cross-sex hormones right here in our state,” Hansen said at the press conference. “Children that young, they cannot consent to this.”

But despite dozens of Republican co-sponsors already, the bill still faces an uphill battle. It will face opposition from Democrats and many Republicans as well.

Democrats like Rep. Kameron Nelson (D-Sioux Falls) say that the bill unfairly targets the LGBT community and suggests it is a “non-issue.”

“A bill like this is absolutely saying to individuals and families that you are not welcome here,” Nelson told KOTA Territory/Dakota News Now. “And that is not the South Dakota I know nor love to live in. I hope that my colleagues will see the errors in their ways.”

HB 1080 was assigned to the House Health and Human Services Committee but does not yet have a date for when it will be heard.