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South Carolina Governor Signs Law Banning Gender-Affirming Care for Minors


A ban on gender-affirming care for minors was signed into law by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday. This was met with criticism, which called it a “cruel and dangerous assault on trans youth.”

The law goes into action right away and says that doctors can’t give puberty blockers or do gender-transition surgeries on people younger than 18. South Carolina is the 25th state to limit or ban gender-affirming care.

He wrote on X on Tuesday, “I signed the Help Not Harm bill into law, which protects our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and bans public funds from being used for them.” McMaster is a Republican. “I look forward to joining legislators and supporters at a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week.”

I made the Help Not Harm bill a law. It keeps our state’s kids safe from gender-changing treatments that can’t be undone and stops public money from being used for them. This coming week, I’m excited to be in the Upstate with lawmakers and fans for a ceremonial bill signing.

As of now, South Carolina’s new law does not allow the prescription of puberty blockers, hormone treatment, or surgery. It also does not allow public funds or Medicaid to be used to pay for any resident’s transition-related medical care.

In South Carolina, healthcare workers who provide gender-affirming care to children could have their licenses taken away or be sued in civil court. If doctors do gender transition surgery on minors, they could be charged with causing bodily harm and go to jail for up to 20 years if they are found guilty.

The new rule in South Carolina also says that school administrators have to talk to parents whose kids choose to use a different name or pronouns than the ones they were given at birth.

By a vote of 67 to 26, the Help Not Harm bill passed the state House earlier this month. It also passed the state Senate by a vote of 28 to 8.

Many people were against the new law, which they called H.4624 a “broad intrusion into medically necessary healthcare for transgender South Carolinians.”

For Tuesday, Chase Glenn of SC United for Justice and Equality said, “This bill is a cruel and dangerous attack on trans youth and adults in South Carolina that doesn’t follow the advice of any major medical organization.”

“Across the state, from the Lowcountry to the Upstate, South Carolinians are mourning the passage of H.4624, which will make it immeasurably harder for transgender youth and many adults to access the life-saving healthcare that they need and deserve,” Glenn said. “But let me be clear: This loss does not crumble a movement.”

The Southern Trans kids Emergency Project is offering emergency grants to help transgender kids find gender-affirming care providers out of state.

It breaks my heart to see lawmakers take away transgender youth in South Carolina’s life-affirming and often life-saving medical care. That’s what Raymond Velazquez, executive director of the Uplift Outreach Center, said after lawmakers passed the ban.

“No one should be forced to leave their home state to access the care that they need and deserve.”

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