NewsSouth Carolina House Advances Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

South Carolina House Advances Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

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Just two days into the new legislative session, South Carolina’s Republican-led House of Representatives has moved swiftly to advance a bill that would ban gender-affirming medical care for minors.

On Tuesday, the newly filed H.4624 drew testimony from opponents, including parents of transgender youth and pediatricians. By Wednesday, the House Medical Committee approved the measure along party lines, sending it to the House floor.

If passed, the ban would prohibit those under 18 from accessing surgeries, hormone therapy or puberty blockers to affirm their gender identity. It also aims to block Medicaid and state funds from covering such care for anyone under 27.

Supporters argue it protects children, claiming gender is determined solely by biology. “God created us male and female, period,” said bill sponsor Davey Hiott.

But opponents warn it endangers vulnerable youth. “My daughter will lose healthcare,” said one parent, explaining the family may have to relocate so their child can receive care.

Democrats argued the bill infringes on personal freedom and wastes time on a non-issue. “Who gives a damn if a person is trans?” said Rep. Wendell Gilliard.

It also requires school staff to inform parents if a student’s gender identity differs from sex assigned at birth, which opponents say puts teachers in an untenable position and could target LGBTQ students.

Over 20 other legislatures have enacted similar bans, according to supporters. But advocates vow to continue challenging proposals they argue harm youth well-being and ignore medical consensus on treatment standards. The bill now awaits a House floor vote.

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