South Dakota House Passes Transphobic Bill

The South Dakota House of Representatives just passed HB1057, legislation that bars transgender youth and their parents from making decisions about their gender-affirming medical care. Even scarier, the bill states that doctors can be imprisoned for providing care to trans and gender-nonconforming citizens.

Dr. Alex Chavez of The Trevor Project wrote a piece for NBC News chastising South Dakota for their blatant discrimination. In fact, in the article, Dr. Chavez even quotes a peer-reviewed medical study that clearly states that providing transgender and nonconforming youth with gender-affirming care dramatically increases their mental and physical wellbeing.

The need for gender-affirming medical care isn’t an issue to be taken lightly. In fact, in an HRC study, they found that an astonishing 41.8% of transgender youth have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. By barring transgender American citizens from getting proper medical care, not only can it have devastating effects in an immediate sense, but it will also have a ripple effect, showing trans and gender-nonconforming Americans that they are not respected as humans. This will surely add stressors to their lives which will impact their health and wellbeing.

Tragically, this isn’t South Dakota’s only instance of hate against the LGBTQ community. In a statement responding to the newest bill, the HRC stated, “Last year, lawmakers in South Dakota introduced several anti-transgender bills, including another that targeted youth by denying transgender student-athletes from participating in school-sanctioned sports based on their gender identity. In 2016, South Dakota became the first state to introduce and pass anti-transgender legislation aimed at restroom access, before the governor vetoed the measure.”

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