Like any parent, I’ve spent a lot of time at the doctor’s office over the years. From routine well-baby visits and annual exams to (thankfully fewer) urgent-care situations, I know my way around the clinic. My husband and I have had many questions and great conversations with our doctors regarding the best care for our kiddos.
But you know who’s never been a part of these conversation? Our legislators.
Medical decisions should be made between patients, their parents and their doctors – not politicians.
But across the country and right here in South Dakota, lawmakers have been sticking their noses into matters they shouldn’t – specifically heath care decisions that have been traditionally reserved for parents.
Last year, South Dakota lawmakers passed legislation that prohibits doctors from providing life-saving gender-affirming health care to trans youth, essentially putting the government in charge of making vital health care decisions for our kids.
We don’t co-parent with our legislators. Why are they making medical decisions for us?
Tell your lawmakers to keep out of the conversation. Help us pass Senate Bill 216!
Right now, we have the opportunity to correct that and to give children’s medical decisions back to their rightful owners – parents with Senate Bill 216.
This bill would give parents the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their children with gender dysphoria.
Like all health care, health care for transgender youth is individualized and based on the needs of each particular person. Research shows that providing appropriate care to trans kids improves mental health outcomes, including decreased rates of depression and anxiety, substance use and suicide attempts. Parents, physicians and medical experts have explained again and again how South Dakota’s cruel and unconstitutional law is causing immense and irreversible harm across our state.
Senate Bill 216 would amend last year’s gender-affirming care ban to allow doctors to provide puberty blockers or hormonal treatment – nonsurgical medical care consistent with prevailing medical and scientific standards – to trans kids only with parental consent.
Gender-affirming care saves lives. Transgender kids, like all kids, deserve a chance to experience joy, learn in a safe environment, get the health care that they need, and survive into adulthood. We don’t need a law that substitutes the state’s judgment for that of loving parents who are following the guidance of their children and the advice of doctors.
Freedom is a family value – at home, at school, and at the doctor’s office. It’s time to let parents decide.
We need to take back our parental rights. Please support Senate Bill 216.
A version of this column also appeared in South Dakota Searchlight.