COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers debated proposed restrictions on health care for transgender youth on Wednesday, while a Missouri legislative committee discussed a series of like-minded proposals.
The measures are under consideration in two Republican strongholds Continued interest from conservative lawmakers Following a wave of high-profile bills last year, we are committed to addressing issues affecting LGBTQ+ residents.
South Carolina is one of the few Southern states that does not ban gender-affirming care for minors.The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday began debating a bill that would bar health expert Performs gender reassignment surgeries, prescribes puberty-blocking drugs, and supervises hormone therapy in patients under 18 years of age. People under 26 cannot use Medicaid to pay for such care, and school employees cannot hide a student’s transgender status from their legal guardian.
Doctors and parents told lawmakers last week that the treatment could save lives and allow young transgender people to live more fulfilling lives. indeed, research shows Transgender teens and adults are prone to stress, depression and suicidal behavior when forced to live as the gender they were assigned at birth.
However, the bill’s co-sponsor, South Carolina Republican Rep. John McCravy, claimed Wednesday that “unpublished evidence” shows puberty blockers increase self-harm. He described transgender children as “mentally disturbed adolescents” who need protection from “mutilation” – a claim that a panel of leading US medical associations said was wrong.
Democrats are trying to cut provisions that prevent Medicaid from covering children and young adults seeking gender-affirming treatment. Rep. Marvin Pendarvis, D-S.C., said Republicans should stick to their stated goals of protecting children and should not restrict health care services for adults.
“Is this really about protecting minors or is it about attacking a group of people whose lifestyle you don’t agree with?” Pendarvis asked.
South Carolina Republican Rep. RJ May, vice chairman of the state’s ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, compared public funding for any gender reassignment surgery, regardless of the patient’s age, to public funding for “lifestyle issues” such as drug addiction.
Some other Republicans failed to add clearer penalties. This bill allows medical licensing boards to discipline health care professionals who provide prohibited treatments. It does not subject health care providers to criminal liability in Florida or civil liability in Georgia.
In Missouri, House committees are debating a raft of anti-transgender legislation on Wednesday, even as Republican legislative leaders say LGBTQ+-related bills are Not a top priority this meeting.Lawmakers passed a partial ban last year Gender-affirming health care Restrictions on minors and what sports team Student-athletes may join based on the gender assigned at birth.
The new measure would regulate public school bathroom use and define male and female in state law based on a person’s sex at birth.
Another proposal would apply the ban on gender-affirming health care to all minors and repeal its 2027 expiration date.
Rep. Brad Hudson, the Missouri Republican who proposed the ban last year, said there should never have been a “sunset” in the first place.
Rep. David Tyson Smith, D-Mo., said transgender legislation is a campaign ploy to attract Republican votes. “It’s time for us to turn over a new leaf,” Smith said.
“This is dominating the airwaves time and time again and it’s outrageous,” Smith said.
The bills are among dozens in red states this year that seek to limit health care for transgender youth, and sometimes adults, or regulate what pronouns students can use in school, which sports teams they can participate in and where they can bathroom use, as well as efforts to limit drag performances as well as some books and school curricula.
At least 22 states have enacted laws restricting or prohibiting gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors, and many of those states have faced lawsuits. Courts have ruled differently. Three states prohibit enforcement and seven others allow it.Ohio Senate expected later this month Overriding Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto The state’s ban.
Major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and American Academy of Pediatricsopposes the ban and supports the care, saying it is safe if administered properly.
Ballentyne is from Jefferson City, Missouri. Pollard is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. US report is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.