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Republican Bill Creates Felony For Transition Procedure On Minors

More than forty statehouse Republicans are sponsoring a bill that creates a class four felony against a medical professional who may change or affirm the perception of a minor’s sex.

Critics say the legislature has more important issues to tackle, rather than discriminating against a group of individuals.

House Bill 1057slaps a class four felony on medical professionals who attempt to change a minor’s sex… either by puberty blocking medication or surgeries like castration, mastectomy, hysterectomy, phalloplasty, etc.

Leading the charge on what supporters call the Vulnerable Child Protection Act is Representative Fred Deutsch. He brought a so-called “bathroom bill” in 2016 which passed through the legislature, but was vetoed by then-Governor Dennis Daugaard.

The Florence Republican says the bill is needed because people are getting hurt. He calls the procedure child abuse and says it’s akin to genital mutilation.

“We don’t allow mutilation of our children in South Dakota. We do not allow parents to approve or permit their children to be mutilated or abused.”

Deutsch says South Dakota protects its children.

Sioux Falls Democratic Representative Linda Duba opposes the legislation. She spent 25 years at Citi Bank. She says legislation like this proves to multination companies that the state might not be as tolerant as it can to attract business.

“I don’t think the government has the right to be making decisions for minors,” Duba says. “I think that is what family is for. I think that’s what parents are doing. I think this is an unnecessary bill that’s going to generate fear, anger and hate and divide us.”

The lead sponsor, Representative Deutsch, says his legislation is original.

He says it’s his bill.

“I came up with it on my own,” Deutsch says. “Homegrown.”

However, portions of the bill read very similar to model legislation provided by Family Watch International. Deutsch’s bill is featured above the model legislation on its website, which has the instruction that the language in blue is drafter instructions.

ACLU South Dakota opposes the bill, saying it criminalizes doctors for providing medically necessary care for transgender youth.