South Carolina Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Gender-affirming Care for Minors

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster approved a law on Tuesday that prohibits gender-affirming care for minors. Critics argue that this law is harmful and unfair to transgender youth.

The new law in South Carolina, which is now in effect, prevents doctors from giving puberty blockers or performing gender-transition surgeries for patients under 18. This makes South Carolina the 25th state to limit or prohibit gender-affirming care.

“I approved the Help Not Harm bill, which prevents our state’s children from undergoing permanent gender transition procedures and prohibits the use of public funds for such procedures,” wrote McMaster, a Republican, in a post on X. “I am excited to attend a special event where a bill will be signed by lawmakers in the Upstate region next week.”

I passed a law called the Help Not Harm bill. This law is meant to protect children in our state from undergoing irreversible gender transition procedures. It also makes it illegal to use public funds for these procedures. I am excited to attend a special event where a bill will be signed by legislators in the Upstate next week. This is a link to a picture: On May 21, 2024, Governor Henry McMaster tweeted.

South Carolina has passed a new law that not only prohibits the prescription of puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or surgery, but also prevents public funds and Medicaid from being used to pay for transition-related healthcare for residents of any age.

Healthcare professionals in South Carolina who give medical care that supports a person’s gender identity to people under 18 years old could lose their licenses or be sued. If doctors perform gender transition surgery on minors, they could be charged with causing physical harm and may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

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South Carolina’s new law states that school administrators must contact parents if their children decide to use a different name or pronouns than the ones assigned to them at birth. The Help Not Harm measure was approved earlier this month with a vote of 28 to 8 in the state Senate and 67 to 26 in the state House.

Critics strongly criticized the new law, saying that H.4624 is a “wide-reaching interference in the necessary healthcare for transgender people in South Carolina.”

“According to a statement on Tuesday, Chase Glenn from SC United for Justice and Equality described this bill as cruel and dangerous. It disregards the advice of all major medical organizations and targets transgender youth and adults in South Carolina.”

“People all over South Carolina, from the coastal region to the inland areas, are feeling sad about the passing of H.4624. This new law will make it much more difficult for transgender young people and many adults to get the important healthcare they need to stay healthy and alive,” Glenn added. “However, I want to make it clear that this defeat does not destroy a movement.”

The Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project is offering assistance to transgender youth by helping them find out-of-state healthcare providers who offer gender-affirming care. They are also providing emergency grants to help cover the costs.

“Healthcare is something that every person should have access to. It makes me very sad to see lawmakers take away important and sometimes life-saving medical care from transgender young people in South Carolina,” said Raymond Velazquez, the Executive Director of Uplift Outreach Center, after the ban was passed by lawmakers.

“Everyone should be able to receive the care they need and deserve without having to leave their home state.”

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