South Dakota Lawmakers Just Voted to Send Doctors to Jail for Helping Trans Kids

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01/29/2020

After hours of heated (and often comically inaccurate) debate, South Dakota’s House of Representatives on Wednesday became the first in the country to greenlight a bill that prohibits gender-affirming medical care for transgender kids. The bill, which has nearly 50 sponsors, would make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for doctors to provide minors under the age of 16 with hormone treatment or gender confirmation surgery. Doctors who violate the law could face a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Proponents of the bill say it protects children from “medical experimentation.” The bill’s author has compared doctors who provide gender-affirming care to Nazis. During Wednesday’s floor debate, one Republican representative said such procedures would someday be considered as dangerous and pseudoscientific as lobotomies.

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