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House passes bill preventing care for transgender youth

The 2023 House Chamber
Lee Strubinger
The 2023 House Chamber

House Republicans are advancing a proposal that prevents transgender youth from receiving certain kinds of health care.

The bill prevents doctors from prescribing puberty blockers and hormone treatment.

The bill also prevents several forms of physical surgeries.

Republican Rep. Bethany Soye is the bill’s prime sponsor. The Sioux Falls Banking lawyer says lawmakers need to protect children.

“That’s why this bill is needed now,” Soye said. “We need to stand in the gap for vulnerable children and guide them toward true help and healing.”

House lawmakers approved the bill 60 to 10 Thursday.

Critics of the legislation say it prevents lifesaving, gender affirming care and discriminates based on sex. State medical organizations call it government overreach. They say it intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.

Local health care officials say medication is only prescribed after months of therapy and coordination with therapists, physicians and parents.

The bill also opens of a civil avenue for lawsuits against physicians and would recreate a path for stripped doctors of their license.

It now heads to the Senate.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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