The South Dakota bill, unveiled at a state Capitol news conference, aims to keep children younger than 18 from accessing puberty-blocking drugs, hormone therapy or surgeries that attempt to make that person have sexual features different from their sex at birth. It would also punish doctors who provide the care by revoking their medical license and exposing them to civil litigation.
Republican Rep. Jon Hansen, one of the lawmakers pushing the bill, argued that puberty was a “natural cure” for gender dysphoria, which is the distress felt when someone’s gender expression does not match their gender identity.
“This is a mental health problem that needs to be addressed,” said Republican Rep. Bethany Soye, who is the bill's primary sponsor.
South Dakota Republicans passed a law last year aimed at protecting female sports teams from being forced to accept boys who claim to be female.