Thursday, May 09, 2024

Trashy and dangerous move - SC legislators pass bill banning gender-affirming care. Bill also outs trans kids to parents.

I am completely disappointed, but not surprised that legislators in my state would pass such a dangerous bill. But it's not over. NOT by a longshot. Like I told a friend of mine when this initially passed, we are just in the first inning.

South Carolina has passed a gender-affirming care ban. Here's what families can do​ - Completely ridiculous. They did this after lots of people came out to testify against it. They only had one person testifying for it and he did it via video. A complete stunt. But our community will prevail. 

After originating in the state Senate, H.4624 now heads to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster for his signature. The bill prohibits youth under the age of 18 in the state from receiving all medically necessary transgender health care, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery. It also prohibits public funds and Medicaid from being used to cover the cost of transition-related healthcare for transgender people of any age. 
In response, the Campaign for Southern Equality has announced that families of transgender youth in South Carolina are now eligible to apply for support from the Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project (STYEP), a regional project that helps transgender youth whose access to gender-affirming care has been disrupted by government policies.

 “South Carolina lawmakers have turned their backs on transgender youth and passed this dangerous bill, which will needlessly and cruelly disrupt the lives of trans people in our state," said Domenico Ruggerio, Executive Director of We Are Family. "But our community is prepared to support families through this crisis – and we’ll never stop working toward a state where transgender and gender nonconforming people in South Carolina can be themselves and live with peace and power.” 

 The bill forbids public funding, including Medicaid, from being used “directly or indirectly” for gender-affirming care. This provision may face an immediate challenge since the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes South Carolina, ruled in April that government- and state-funded health care and insurance plans cannot exclude coverage for gender-affirming medical care, The Hill reported.

 The bill also requires school principals and counselors to notify parents if a child indicates in any way that their gender identity doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. This provision will make trans, nonbinary, and gender-fluid students less likely to seek help from trusted adults in schools, leaving them without any adult support if their parents disapprove of their gender identity. 

 In January, Gov. McMaster called the bill “a good idea,” adding, “If they wanna make those decisions later when they’re adults then that’s a different story, but we must prevent our young people from making irreversible errors.” Several studies have shown that most people who receive gender-affirming healthcare do not regret it. 

 A March 2024 poll found that 71% of South Carolina voters felt that the government should not intervene in LGBTQ gender-affirming healthcare decisions that regard individuals under the age of 18.