COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Members of the South Carolina Freedom Caucus announced they will be prefiling legislation that would ban gender-altering surgeries and other procedures for transgender minors in the state.
They called a news conference at the State House Monday morning with Congressman Ralph Norman (R-District 5). Norman is a co-sponsor of a piece of legislation that supporters say would prohibit the use federal tax dollars to expose children under 10 to “sexually explicit material.”
“This is not what our young children should be experiencing and for adults to be promoting this is wrong and it’s something we’re going to stop,” Norman said.
SC Freedom Caucus Vice Chairman Rep. RJ May (R-Lexington) said the language of their bill has yet to be finalized.
According to May, it “would ban transition surgeries, the use of hormone blockers for anyone under 18 and provide criminal penalties for those who do.”
May said life “altering” procedures had been offered by Medical University of South Carolina for transgender youth. They are awaiting more information, he said.
Hospital officials in South Carolina, including MUSC, say they do not offer gender-altering surgeries to anyone under 18. According to their website, “MUSC Health offers supportive medical, behavioral health, nutritional, and social services care only. We do not offer surgical treatments.”
Guidelines for gender-altering surgery said it should be reserved for people over the age of 18.
LGBTQ+ advocates in South Carolina said this type of legislation targets trans youth.
“This is just another way to attack and demonize and show hate towards an entire community within South Carolina,” said Phil Ford with SC United for Justice and Equality Coalition.
Ford said they’ll fight this legislation every step of the way.
“What’s extremely dangerous is this is on the heels of an anti-LGBTQ+ attack that killed five LGBTQ+ Americans in Colorado,” Ford said.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers included a budget proviso that prohibited MUSC from using state money to fund or support the gender transition of a minor under 16.
State lawmakers can begin prefiling legislation starting Dec. 8.