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SC Senate passes bill banning medical care for transgender youth

SC Senate passes bill banning medical care for transgender youth

The South Carolina Senate voted to approve a House bill that would ban medical care for transgender youth. Now it goes back to the House after the Senate passed amendments to the bill.

After a lengthy debate last week, state senators voted 28-8 to send the bill to the House of Representatives before the legislative session ends on May 9.

The bill would eliminate the use of puberty-blocking drugs, hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery for people under 18. It would allow puberty blocker drugs for minors with conditions such as precocious puberty or endometriosis who use puberty blockers as treatment.

It would also prohibit the South Carolina Medicaid program from providing coverage to minors and adults.

One of the biggest changes from the Senate amendments was a provision requiring principals and vice principals to inform parents if a child identified as a gender other than their assigned gender or used different pronouns.

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Opponents of this bill argued that this would be a forced outing and could cause problems for a child at home. For example, Senator Tameika Devine (D-19) had a problem with the bill that it only covered public schools and not private schools. She also argued that the bill revokes medical freedom.

“This bill shows no love, it shows no compassion. It is actually evil and shows that we are not taking care of all citizens,” Devine said.

Supporters of the bill argued that the purpose of the bill was to protect children. Those opposed to the bill argue that the bill would harm transgender children.

“The most important reason for this bill is to protect minors from making life-altering decisions that could have harmful and irreversible consequences,” Sen. Richard Cash, a Republican who represents Anderson County, said last week.

But a study from the New England Journal of Medicine found that transgender and non-binary youth who use hormones and puberty blockers show fewer signs of depression and anxiety.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, if passed by the House of Representatives, South Carolina would join 25 states in banning medical care for transgender youth.

Savannah Moss covers Greenville County politics and growth/development. Reach her at [email protected] or follow her at X @Savmoss.