South Carolina's governor signs gender-affirming healthcare ban

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) signed a bill Tuesday that would ban gender-affirming health care treatments and procedures for people under the age of 18 in his state.

“I signed the Help Not Harm bill, which protects our state's children from irreversible gender transition procedures and prohibits public funds from being used on their behalf,” said McMaster. said in a post on the social platform X Tuesday. “I look forward to joining lawmakers and supporters for a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week.”

The bill, House Bill 4264, states that a “physician, mental health provider, or other health care professional shall not knowingly provide gender transition procedures to a person under the age of eighteen years” and that those who do “shall be subject to an adverse ruling by the appropriate licensing authority considered unprofessional conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action by the licensing board having jurisdiction over the physician, mental health provider, or other medical health care professional.”

“Across the state, from the Lowcountry to Upstate, South Carolinians are mourning the passage of H.4624, which will make it immeasurably more difficult for transgender youth and many adults to access the lifesaving health care they need and deserve,” Chase says. Glenn, a leader of the LGBTQ advocacy group SC United for Justice & Equality, said in a statement in a Tuesday news release.

“But let me be clear: this loss does not destroy any movement,” Glenn continued. “Our movement to support transgender people in South Carolina is louder and stronger than ever before. We marched to the State House, we told our stories, and we made sure our legislators heard from us. Now we will do everything in our power to support our community through this crisis.”

Jace Woodrum, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Carolina, said in a news release Tuesday that the group “stands in sorrow and solidarity with LGBTQ South Carolinians, who are increasingly under attack by our own government.”

“We can abandon the idea that the governor cares about limited government and personal freedom,” Woodrum says rack continues. “With the stroke of a pen, he has chosen to insert the will of politicians into health care decisions, trample on the freedoms of trans South Carolinians, and deny the rights of the parents of trans minors.”

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