". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


S.C. Becomes 25th State to Protect Minors from Gender Transition Procedures

May 23, 2024

While some states still allow children to go under the knife in the name of “gender identity,” the Palmetto State has become the latest to officially protect children from invasive gender transition interventions. On Tuesday, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) signed into law House Bill 4624, known as the “Help Not Harm” bill, prohibiting gender transition procedures for minors. McMaster said on social media that the new law “protects our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and bans public funds from being used for them.”

The text of the legislation stipulates, “A physician, mental health provider, or other health care professional shall not knowingly provide gender transition procedures to a person under eighteen years of age.” The text clarifies, “‘Gender transition procedures’ means puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, or genital or nongenital gender reassignment surgery, provided or performed for the purpose of assisting an individual with a physical gender transition.” The legislation further bars public funds from being “used directly or indirectly for gender transition procedures” and demands that the “South Carolina Medicaid Program shall not reimburse or provide coverage for practices prohibited under the provisions of this chapter.”

Earlier this year, months before signing it into law, McMaster called the “Help Not Harm” bill “a good idea.” Speaking to reporters, he explained, “To go in and have irreversible things done, for a young person to make that decision when we know that their decision-making ability and judgement is not fully aware below [the age of] 18, for sure, is a mistake.” He added that the bill’s mandates “will keep our young people safe and healthy. … We must protect our young people from making irreversible errors.”

Another provision contained within the bill declares that a “nurse, counselor, teacher, principal, or other official or staff at a public school shall not knowingly … encourage or coerce a minor to withhold from the minor’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor's perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex” or “withhold from a minor’s parent or legal guardian information related to the minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex…” If a child tells a school official or counselor that he identifies as a different sex than his biological sex or asks to be called by a name or pronouns different from those of his biological sex, school officials are to “immediately” notify the child’s parent or guardian.

Meg Kilgannon, FRC’s senior fellow for Education Studies, told The Washington Stand, “Physical transition requires the first step of social transition. This bill’s attempt to address that problem is a welcome effort to change how people think about gender ideology, gender indoctrination, and gender confusion.” She added, “Children have a right to their innocence and children have a right to their parents. I’m thankful that South Carolina’s law prioritizes reality and family over activist schools and Big Pharma.”

South Carolina is now the 25th state to ban or restrict gender transition procedures for minors. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming have all banned gender transition surgeries for children along with the prescription of puberty blockers and hormone drugs. While Arizona banned gender transition surgeries for minors in 2022, Governor Katie Hobbs (D) shielded the practice with an executive order in 2023. Various courts have temporarily blocked gender transition bans for minors in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and Ohio.

Arkansas State Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R), who spearheaded the first SAFE Act, cheered the Palmetto State's law. “This is awesome they have really stepped up to protect children and teens from long term health issues,” she told The Washington Stand. “Courage is doing what’s right even when it’s hard. Children will be healthy and thriving because the South Carolina legislature and governor put them first.”

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.