South Dakota bans sex change treatments and surgeries for minors

More and more states and health professionals are calling for measures and taking action against this type of irreversible or seriously harmful interventions in children.

South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, signed a bill into law to ban sex change surgeries and treatments on minors. The rule, which will take effect as of July 31, 2023, means that physicians who fail to comply with it will lose their license.

The law, dubbed Help Not Harm, prohibits doctors from prescribing drugs to stop normal puberty and some hormones. Physicians may not perform surgery that alters the sex of a minor. Surgeries that remove healthy body parts or tissues are also prohibited. "With this law we protect children from harmful and permanent medical procedures," Noem said in a statement.

Doctors who fail to comply will lose their licenses

Help not Harm passed in the Senate by a 30-4 vote last week, and the House of Representatives earlier this month, by a 60-10 vote. It will go into effect on July 31, and physicians will have until the end of the year to complete ongoing treatments. In case of disobedience, the rule provides for the loss of the license to practice.

States, legislators and health professionals against sex change in minors

With Noem's signature, South Dakota joins the group of states that have limited or outright banned such treatments in their territory. So far, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas had already declared these initiatives outlawed.

Last week, the Missouri´s attorney general announced that he had opened an investigation into the St. Louis Gender Center. This came following a former employee's complaint about the "morally and medically appalling" practices there.

More and more doctors are raising their voices in response to the irreversible damage and sequelae suffered by minors who are introduced into these programs. Florida Board of Medicine Chairman Scot Ackerman rejected that the "overwhelming weight of evidence and science" supports the treatment as "safe, effective and medically necessary." Moreover, he pointed out that these studies arouse many doubts among the medical community, and denounced that some of them have even been deliberately misrepresented.