UPDATE: The Senate Health and Human Services Committee today to kill Senate Bill 216, legislation that would've given parents the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their children with gender dysphoria.
The ACLU of South Dakota supports Senate Bill 216, legislation that would give parents the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their children with gender dysphoria.
The bill, which was introduced by Sen. Reynold Nesiba, would amend the South Dakota law that prohibits doctors from providing life-saving gender-affirming care to transgender youth in South Dakota. Senate Bill 216 will allow doctors to provide puberty blockers or hormonal treatment – medical care consistent with prevailing medical and scientific standards – to trans kids only with parental consent.
South Dakota’s law banning gender-affirming care represents vast government overreach that undermines the fundamental rights of parents. Additionally, singling out gender-affirming care for categorical prohibition violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. Senate Bill 216 is the opportunity for lawmakers to right these wrongs.
South Dakota’s law banning gender-affirming care hasn’t stopped South Dakotans from being trans, but it does deny the critical support that helps struggling transgender youth grow up to become thriving adults.