The South Dakota House passed H.B. 1057, a bill to protect children from experimental transgender “treatments” that result in sterilization and set children on the path toward genital mutilation.
The House voted for the bill, 46-23, after 90 minutes of debate on Wednesday afternoon, the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader reported.
“This bill is about protecting children,” Rep. Fred Deutsch (R-Florence) said. He insisted that adults should be free to undergo whatever hormonal and surgical treatments they desire, but “subjecting children to these interventions is deeply hurtful.”
The bill prohibits giving children cross-sex hormones, so-called puberty-blockers, and transgender surgery for children younger than 16 years old. Performing these experimental treatments on such children would constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota has threatened a legal challenge if H.B. 1057 is signed into law, but House Leader Lee Qualm (R-Platte) read a letter from the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel offering to represent the state pro bono in any such lawsuit. Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) has expressed concern about the bill but has not clarified whether or not she would support it.
The transgender movement, backed by a powerful network of billionaires, has forced new standards of medical care that ignore serious problems with experimental treatments for gender dysphoria. While the condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s sex is real, encouraging this gender confusion is dangerous. Even those who persist in a transgender identity and receive hormones and surgery to look like someone of the opposite sex can never truly “transition” away from their biology.
Men and women are different from conception. Males and females have different DNA, develop differently in the womb, and mature differently before, during, and after puberty. Some drugs that will help women will harm men and vice versa. Biochemistry is real and cannot be remade in the name of transgender identity.
Efforts to alter a child’s biochemical makeup can have disastrous consequences. Cross-sex hormones arguably introduce a disease into healthy bodies.
“I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease,” Dr. Michael Laidlaw, an independent private practice endocrinologist in Rocklin, Calif. who consults with Sutter Roseville Medical Center, told PJ Media last August. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.
“We’re talking about what in nature is a rare condition. In the United States, if someone has this condition it’s going to be recognized and treated so the long-term results are unknown,” the doctor explained. “It’s an area that needs to be explored further.”
While endocrinologists — doctors who specialize in hormones and the endocrine system — are familiar with the disease and gladly treat it when a patient has been diagnosed, many of them are effectively causing their patients to contract the same disease in an attempt to affirm gender identity, Laidlaw said. “An endocrinologist might treat a condition where a female’s testosterone levels are going to be outside the normal range. We’ll treat that and we’re aware of metabolic problems. At the same time, an endocrinologist may be giving high levels of testosterone to a female to ‘transition’ her.”
So-called “puberty-blockers” like Lupron have similar effects. In an attempt to “pause” puberty, drugs like Lupron stop the pituitary gland from working properly. This gland sends signals to the gonads to produce testosterone or estrogen. According to Laidlaw, Lupron in kids “blocks development of their organs, and their growth is stunted. If it’s started in early puberty, these kids will not develop mature sperm or eggs, they will be infertile. If they have gonads removed, they will be sterilized.”
“They’re going to end up with lower bone density, perhaps stunted brain development,” the doctor explained. “A lot of the brain impact is unknown. There seems to be some brain development that is sex hormone-dependent.”
Children under the age of 18 are not considered responsible for their own lives and treatment. A child cannot understand what it means to be sterilized, to never have the ability to bring children into the world. They arguably cannot give informed consent to these experimental procedures.
Even if such hormones were completely safe, it should still concern parents and lawmakers that kids put on such drugs are more likely to undergo full transgender surgery later in life. Many formerly transgender people have come forward, expressing their deep regret at having mutilated their own bodies. A 19-year-old man who underwent surgery to turn his male genitals into female genitals described the result as a “Frankenstein hack job.” Transgender star Jazz Jennings had dangerous complications in his own surgery, resulting in large scars across his legs.
The South Dakota law follows a recent trend of states acting to prevent doctors from giving children experimental transgender drugs to which they cannot consent. This movement follows the high-profile case of 7-year-old boy James Younger, whose mother said he is a girl and who has planned to carry out genital mutilation against him.
Transgender activists argue that children with gender dysphoria are more likely to commit suicide if their mistaken gender identities are not encouraged, but studies have shown persistently high suicide rates among transgender people — rates that go up after surgery and that persist in countries where transgender identity is encouraged.
“The brave legislators who voted in favor of this critical bill today deserve a lot of credit,” American Principles Project Executive Director Terry Schilling said in a statement. “Despite scare tactics from radical gender activists on the left and the weak-kneed Chamber of Commerce on the right, the South Dakota House of Representatives put families first and rejected this dangerous gender ideology which is destroying the lives of so many vulnerable young people.”
Efforts to protect children from this fate are noble, especially in the face of the powerful transgender movement. Kids who suffer from gender confusion should not be pushed into experimental treatments that can do them lasting harm and to which they cannot consent.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.