South Carolina – Gender transitioning surgery, hormone therapy, and puberty-blocking drugs for those under 18 might soon become illegal in South Carolina. This comes after a House panel voted 5-1 on Tuesday, a vote that is in line with the Republican Party’s members’ interests. Despite the fact that about 50 opponents argued that such a ban would hurt the youth in South Carolina, it seems that this bill is on the fast track in the South Carolina House.
Policy in South Carolina
There has been ongoing debate for years regarding the transgender policy in South Carolina. The most recent updates are the result of a years-long push from GOP members in Palmetto State to make all of the above illegal, citing the young people’s well-being. However, pro-trans activities believe that such a law would backfire.
Data shows that transgender teenagers often suffer from depression, anxiety, and high suicide rates. And South Carolina is not an exception. According to several dozen doctors, transgender people, and activists who openly oppose the bill, a law would make those problems worse.
Gender transitioning surgery, hormone therapy and puberty-blocking drugs in the focus
The South Carolina Daily Gazette spoke with Elizabeth Mack, a pediatrician at the Medical University of South Carolina. She expressed her views during an hours-long meeting, noting that “there is no gender-confirmation surgery occurring on minors in South Carolina.” She asked lawmakers to remove the gender transitioning surgery from the list since that doesn’t pose an issue right now; therefore, it isn’t a concern.
Her views didn’t impact House Majority Leader Davey Hiott, who is the bill’s main sponsor.
“I don’t care if it’s taking place in South Carolina,” he responded to Mack. “It should never take place in South Carolina.”
While gender transitioning surgery is the focus, this bill bans drugs that delay youth from starting puberty, as well as the prescribing of testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone at levels above what girls or boys their age would otherwise produce.
Doctors and health care providers could lose their medical licenses
As South Carolina Republican lawmakers are pushing this bill to become law, steps that are in line with several other Republican-led states already having similar laws in place, doctors and other health care providers risk losing their medical licenses. If this bill becomes law, everyone involved in the process could face a lawsuit, as the law would allow the parents of minors or the minors themselves, after they turn 18, to file a lawsuit against the doctors and healthcare providers or file a complaint to the state licensing board for what the bill labels “unprofessional conduct.”
Similar bills have been on the table in recent history. Last year, a bill reached the South Carolina Senate committee, but it was already too late for the bill to go any further. A similar bill, filed by a House Democrat in 2021 and supported by other Republicans, had the same fate.
Bill’s supporters claim that a law in place would protect minors, both pre-teens and teenagers. They are convinced that young people are not aware of the risks of such procedures, and they shouldn’t be impacted by adults. The effects of gender transitioning surgery, hormone therapy, and puberty-blocking drugs usually come years later, which is usually too late, and those impacted often regret their decisions.