States Trying to Restrict Transgender Minor’s Ability to Have Gender Reassignment Surgery

Raven Haengel, Photographer, Writer

In January 2020, at least six states are trying to fine doctors for giving transgender minor’s gender reassignment surgery. South Dakota passed house bill 1057, that prevents a doctor to perform medical procedures like a mastectomy, penectomy, or other procedures regarding a person’s gender on a minor under the age of 16 and can get up to a year in jail and a $2000 fine Republican State Representative Fred Deutsch told CNN he was “grateful”  and “The solution for children’s identification with the opposite sex isn’t to poison their bodies with megadoses of the wrong hormones, to chemically or surgically castrate and sterilize them, or to remove healthy breasts and reproductive organs,” Deutsch hopes to make the case show “that every child in South Dakota should be protected from dangerous drugs and treatments.” CNN reached out to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem for a comment and said “I would say that when you take public policy and try to fill parenting gaps with more government, you have to be very careful about the precedent you’re setting. So that’s really the viewpoint I’m looking at it through,” and had “a few concerns” Dr Alexis Chávez is the director of the Trevor Project, they help prevent suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths said to the New York Times “They’re not using actual evidence,” “They’re not using the research. They’re not listening to any health care providers. And they’re advancing something that’s very dangerous to make a statement.” Senator Reynold Nesiba and economics professor told New York Times on his concern on how the bill is being framed to be, “Here we are in the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., at a great distance, trying to influence a decision that is so personal and really needs to be made by the child, the parent and the physician,” he said. “And from the evidence I’ve seen, there is no evidence that physicians are doing harm.” While the bill was scheduled to be voted on, Deutsch apologized for comparing the procedures of gender reassignment to be what the Nazi’s did during the Holocaust. Deutsch told CNN “Well, you know, if you care about kids I think you have to prioritize them. And, you know, in South Dakota we don’t allow mutilation of our children — I don’t care if it’s doctors, I don’t care if it’s parents. … These kids on the internet, they share these pictures of themselves that just blow you away — of all these surgical scars and it’s terrible. That should not ever be allowed,” he continued “To me, that’s a crime against humanity, when these procedures are done by these so-called doctors, you know, that dance on the edge of medicine. I just don’t think it should be done. I think — you know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now.” Heather Smith, executive director of ACLU of South Dakota said to TIME in a statement “By blocking medical care supported by every major medical association, this legislation represents a callous disregard for the health and wellness of South Dakota’s transgender youth, some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” “We want South Dakotans to know that we are investigating all of our legal options. If this bill becomes law, it will be challenged. We will see you in court.” In a study posted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “A new survey of trans adults found that 16.9% reported wanting to take puberty blockers as minors, but just 2.5% of them received that treatment.” “The study found that those who received puberty-suppressing treatment had lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation, when compared to those who wanted such treatment but did not receive it.”