Tallahassee, Fla., Feb 4, 2020 / 13:19 pm
Several states this legislative session have introduced bills aimed at curtailing access to transgender surgery and puberty-blocking drugs for minors, as well as restricting biological males from competing in girls’ high school sports.
South Dakota’s House of Representatives last week passed a bill that would ban sex-reassignment surgery and puberty-blocking medication for minors, a measure which enjoys the support of the South Dakota Catholic Conference. The measure is expected to advance, as both the state House and the Senate hold Republican supermajorities.
In Florida, a similar measure is encountering opposition in the state’s House. The bill, aiming to outlaw transgender surgery and hormone therapy for minors, has stalled in the House Health Quality Subcommittee, the Miami Herald reported Monday.
Senate Bill 1864 and its companion, House Bill 1365, would make it a felony for doctors to provide minors with hormone therapy, or to perform sex reassignment surgery, with a potential maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine or 15 years in prison, the Herald reports.
A sub-committee workshop on Monday featured hours of debate and testimony for and against the bill.
“It’s the wild west...there’s no real guidelines, laws, no real valid diagnoses given to a child before they go down the path of changing their gender,” sponsor State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-Howey-in-the-Hills) said in reference to Florida’s current laws governing transgender surgery for minors.
“This bill makes sure that a young person waits until they are 18 years old before they make an irrevocable decision to change into the opposite sex.”
Democrats on the House committee opposed the bill, arguing that if transgender youth have access to puberty blockers, their chances of depression and suicide decline.