Media Contact

Janna Farley, jfarley@aclu.org

January 29, 2020

Today, House lawmakers voted to advance legislation that would criminalize doctors for providing medically necessary care to transgender youth and take away parents’ rights to make decisions about their children’s care.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes HB 1057. It is unconstitutional to single out one group of people and categorically ban all care, no matter how medically necessary, and if the bill becomes law, the ACLU will challenge it in court.

“By blocking medical care supported by every major medical association, the legislature is compromising the health of trans youth in dangerous and potentially life-threatening ways,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “Discrimination against a marginalized group is a distraction from the state’s real needs and hurts us all. Transgender young people live in our state and need to feel like the government represents them, too. The more we legislate solutions in search of problems, the more our communities suffer.”

HB 1057 continues the streak of bills that would codify discrimination against transgender youth that the South Dakota Legislature has attempted to pass over the last five years.

In addition to the ACLU of South Dakota, companies and organizations like the Sanford Health, the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the South Dakota State Medical Association, the South Dakota Retailers Association, the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, LEAD South Dakota and the Human Rights Campaign also oppose HB 1057.

About the ACLU of South Dakota

Decisions made during the annual sessions of the South Dakota Legislature have a deep and lasting impact on our state’s people and communities. As new laws are created and others repealed or written, it’s important to ensure that these changes preserve and strengthen our constitutional rights.

Based in Sioux Falls, the American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of South Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and Wyoming. The team in South Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of South Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of South Dakota.

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