GOP Senators in South Dakota Vote to Protect Transgender Activists from Lawsuits

GOP Senators in South Dakota Vote to Protect Transgender Activists from Lawsuits

GOP Senators in South Dakota Vote to Protect Transgender Activists from Lawsuits

Four GOP senators in South Dakota voted to kill a healthcare bill that would allow adults to sue for medical damages caused to them by childhood “transgender ” therapies.

The four GOP senators joined with one Democrat to kill the House-passed Vulnerable Child Protection Act on February 10, as they sided with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), medical companies, and a network of pro-transgender activists. The four senators were Helene Duhamel, Arthur Rusch, Deb Soholt, and Wayne Steinhauer.

The child-protection bill was supported by two GOP senators, Lance Russell and Phil Jensen.

But the safeguard bill may be resurrected, according to an NBC report:

Mike Card, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota, said there was a small chance the bill could be revived in a legislative procedure called “a smoke out” — whereby one-third of House legislators vote to force the committee to assign the bill a recommendation of “do pass” or “do not pass.”

Even so, Card added, given the 5-2 vote on Monday, a smoke out would not likely result in a majority of the committee changing their vote.

The Associated Press (AP) declared the bill all but dead:

A Republican-dominated Senate committee voted 5-2 to kill the proposal, likely ensuring the issue won’t be considered by the Legislature again this year.

Proponents already had amended the bill to get rid of criminal charges for doctors who provide gender confirmation treatments, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery. But it would have allowed children to sue if they later regretted the treatments.

The South Dakota defeat comes as conservative lawmakers in nearly a dozen states, including South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, are urging similar proposals to shield children from medical treatments pushed by transgender and medical groups. The medical treatments leave the pre-teen children sterilized, ill, and dependent on medical treatments for the rest of their lives, say opponents.

The South Dakota vote is another win for the wealthy backers of the transgender ideology, which says that people can be born into the “wrong” bodies.

The activists are also backed by parts of the medical industry. The Washington Post reported on a House hearing in South Dakota where the activists were backed by some medical professionals:

At the hearing, about 24 people in white lab coats wore pins that read, “Every child counts,” and said they were opposed to the bill. Representatives from the South Dakota State Medical Association and Sanford Health testified that the bill goes against “best practices.”

The transgender activists are heavily funded by a network of wealthy men and are aided by media boosterism by progressive journalists.

In South Dakota, the media favorably covered the claims by pro-transgender activists and the parents of children they believe are transgender.

“Though supporters claimed House Bill 1057 was aimed at protecting vulnerable youth, it was clearly fueled by a fear and misunderstanding of transgender South Dakotans,” Libby Skarin, policy director for the South Dakota ACLU said in the NBC report. “It’s time we stop these attacks and the very real harm they cause to transgender youth across our state. Let this be a signal to the South Dakota Legislature that discrimination against a marginalized group is a distraction from the needs of the state and hurts us all.”

“We are not going to let this happen, Mom,” a teenager who is living as a boy said in a Washington Post story. “I’m really happy to be here protesting.”

The teenage girl’s mother, Susan Williams, “drove through the snowy night so Wyatt could hold his own sign: ‘Trans People Do Belong HERE,’” the Post reported.

The ACLU warned the bill could be revived. “Stay vigilant on HB 1057,” tweeted ACLU transgender activist Chase Strangio. “We celebrate and we thank those who fought with us and we stay vigilant so they don’t try to bring it back.”

A warning: nothing is ever dead in a legislative session. Stay vigilant on HB 1057. We celebrate and we thank those who fought with us and we stay vigilant so they don’t try to bring it back. #NoHB1057

— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) February 10, 2020

The debate about the risks and hazards of treating children with hormones or surgery is expected to escalate:

State Rep. Fred Deutsch (R), the lawmaker who introduced the bill, said it has raised awareness about the “potential side effects and highlighted the doubts of some doctors about the long-term mental health benefits of such treatments,” AP reported.

“Leading medical authorities, including the Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, do not recommend gender confirmation surgeries for children,” AP reported. “For youths experiencing puberty and older adolescents, the Endocrine Society recommends that a team composed of expert medical and mental health professionals manages treatment, which can include puberty-blocking drugs or hormone therapy.”

As Breitbart News reported, the claims made in a Washington Post article that puberty blockers are reversible is false. Idaho-based endocrinologist Dr. William Malone told Breitbart News in November that puberty suppression is “frequently called reversible, but it’s not.”

Malone explained:

Normal bone density development is interfered with and probably brain development too. Almost all children placed on puberty blockers go on to cross-sex hormones—meaning puberty blockers solidify and sometimes intensify dysphoria.

It’s hard to call these impacts reversible. There have been no long-term studies done on children who have had normal puberty blocked. In no other area of medicine would a medical society be so cavalier about treatments with unknown consequences. Caution is the rule in such situations, and always has been. This departure from the typical standard of care deserves more scrutiny.

But the transgender activists are celebrating their victory: “It’s gone,” Quinncy Parke, 17, who is transgender and testified against the South Dakota bill, told AP. “I don’t have to worry about it until next year.”

Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.

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