Yesterday, by a vote of 46-23, the South Dakota House of Representatives responded to the growing threat of the radical elements of the transgender movement by passing Bill 1057, which if approved will protect the state's children and families. The measure prohibits the prescribing of puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and gender reassignment surgery from being performed on minors under the age of 16. While it may sound like common sense to protect young children from being given drugs or undergoing surgeries that may be irreversible, it unfortunately is becoming more commonplace. Last year, James Younger's case in Texas highlighted for the nation the danger that so-called "gender transition" poses to minor children. While James' mother wanted him to wear girl's clothes, have a girl's name, and eventually take puberty blockers, James' father wanted him to be the happy 7-year old boy that he is. He should not be facing the risk of such treatments, and neither should the children of South Dakota. Yet if HB 1057 does not pass, they will remain unprotected.
The leaders in the South Dakota House who supported HB 1057 are to be commended. They recognized the danger these experimental treatments pose to vulnerable children and they are taking action. "Puberty is not the disease; in 85 percent of cases it's the cure," House Whip Jon Hansen proclaimed in his floor speech yesterday. "Just let the kids grow up," for how can children "possibly know the long-term effects of those decisions" of conducting surgery on their bodies "when even the FDA doesn't know?" Indeed, we don't let children vote, drink, or drive. As Hansen observed, HB 1057 even uses the National Institutes of Health's definition of "sex." Why is that so controversial? It seems that liberal activists and their supporters within the ranks of South Dakota's leadership conveniently sidestep science when it is inconvenient.
Thankfully, those politicians afraid of the transgender lobby and their allies are in the minority. Also speaking on the House floor yesterday, Representative Nancy York noted how we currently protect children through smoking bans and seatbelt requirements. South Dakota recently raised the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21. Are we really going to allow these same children to get a mastectomy under the age of 16?
These leaders know better; medical professionals should also. Academic studies (as cited in the DSM-5) have shown that up to 97.8 percent of children who feel discomfort with their biological sex -- if left alone -- will grow out of their distress and come to accept their sex in adulthood. Puberty-blocking drugs, however -- which interrupt normal sexual development along with brain and bone development -- only lock children into a pathway toward life-altering, harmful procedures.
At one time, using cross-sex hormones or performing gender reassignment surgery on minors was rare. Now, however, these procedures are also being done at younger and younger ages, making bills like HB 1057 urgent. Cross-sex hormones are associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and blood clots, infertility, loss of bone density, and sexual dysfunction. Meanwhile, studies document girls as young as 13 receiving double mastectomies, and other minors receiving permanently sterilizing genital surgery.
On top of that, there are no long term studies on these procedures being performed on minors, who are often hastily given prescriptions after being influenced by their own peers into thinking they need them.
Children increasingly are the victims of ideologues who would rush such "gender transition procedures" upon them. In the face of this, they are depending on the leaders of South Dakota to stand up for them. The eyes of the nation will be watching. Will senators in South Dakota, along with Governor Kristi Noem, follow the lead of the House and protect children or yield to the transgender activists and their corporate allies?
Click here to thank your representative for supporting HB 1057 in the House, and let your senator and Governor Noem know that they need to support it too. The children of South Dakota deserve nothing less.