South Carolina governor signs gender transition ban for anyone younger than 18

(The Center Square) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster signed a measure banning healthcare professionals from providing gender transition procedures to anyone who isn’t at least 18 years old.

H.4624, the Help Not Harm bill, applies to physicians and mental health providers and codifies several definitions, such as gender transition procedures and genital gender reassignment surgery. It also stops the South Carolina Medicaid Program from reimbursing or providing coverage for gender reassignment surgeries and prohibits public funds from “directly or indirectly” funding “gender transition procedures.”

The Republican governor apparently announced Tuesday’s bill signing on, formerly called Twitter.

“Time and time again, we see the most harmful policies from the Left come after the most vulnerable amongst us,” SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement. But time and time again, South Carolina’s Republican lawmakers and Governor McMaster stand up for those who need defending. This time, it was for our children and the dangerous procedures and irreversible effects of ‘gender reassignment’ surgeries.”

“When it comes to our kids, Republicans in South Carolina will fight tirelessly to help, not harm,” McKissick added. “And today, that’s exactly what we did.”

Opponents said lawmakers opted to pass the measure even after dozens of South Carolinians testified in opposition to the bill and condemnation from medical groups and doctors.

“We stand in grief and solidarity with LGBTQ South Carolinians, who are increasingly under attack by our own government,” Jace Woodrum, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina, said in a statement.

“We can put to rest the notion that the governor cares about limited government and personal freedom,” Woodrum added. “With the stroke of a pen, he has chosen to insert the will of politicians into health care decisions, trample on the liberties of trans South Carolinians, and deny the rights of the parents of trans minors.”

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