In South Carolina, a new bill is getting in the way of trans rights. It stops minors from getting gender confirmation treatments and surgery.
Introduced by a Democrat, the law angered his fellow party members. Republicans, however, welcomed it and twenty-three of them signed the bill.
Denying Surgery And Medication To Young Trans People
Rep. Cezar McKnight introduced a bill that excludes minors from treatment for gender dysphoria. People under 18 will therefore not be able to access hormone therapy.
The "South Carolina Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act" bill stops children from receiving sex-reassignment treatment. Any doctors going against the bill can be charged for it as a crime.
A Closer Look At The Bill
The bill states, among other things, that "…no person shall engage in, counsel, make a referral for, or cause any of the following practices to be performed upon a minor if the practice is performed for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of or affirm the minor's perception of the minor's gender or sex if that perception is inconsistent with the minor's sex as defined in this chapter:
(1) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying puberty-blocking medication to stop or delay normal puberty;
(2) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of testosterone or other androgens to females;
(3) prescribing, dispensing, administering, or otherwise supplying supraphysiologic doses of estrogen to males;
(4) performing surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, and penectomy;
(5) performing surgeries that artificially construct tissue with the appearance of genitalia that differs from the individual's sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty; or
(6) removing any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue.
There Are Some Exceptions
For specific health conditions, the bill makes exceptions. Doctors can treat, for example:
(1) an individual born with external biological sex characteristics that are ambiguous and the ambiguity is unresolvable, including an individual born with forty-six XX chromosomes with virilization, forty-six XY chromosomes with undervirilization, or having both ovarian and testicular tissue; or
(2) an individual whom a physician has otherwise diagnosed with a disorder of sexual development, in which the physician has determined through genetic or biochemical testing that the person does not have normal sex chromosome structure, sex steroid hormone production, or sex steroid hormone action for a male or female.
McKnight Claims It Is Not Discrimination
Since 2015, McKnight has represented a primarily Democrat district. Two-thirds of residents there are Black.
According to McKnight,
"Black Democrats tend to be more conservative than white progressives. I would not have ever put this bill forward if I didn't think the people in my district wouldn't be receptive, and they are. Pastors, young parents, older parents, they all tell me the same thing: if you want to do this, wait until you're 18."
"This bill isn't anti-trans. I just don't think to make a sex change during the teen years is something someone should do."
However, other members of the Democratic Party in South Carolina spoke against the bill. In the meantime, trans youth is once again being let down.