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Backlash Mounts as South Carolina Governor Signs Law Restricting Transgender Healthcare

Backlash Mounts as South Carolina Governor Signs Law Restricting Transgender Healthcare

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has recently approved a law that prohibits gender-affirming care for minors. This decision has faced criticism from those who argue that it poses a significant threat to the well-being of trans youth.

South Carolina has become the 25th state to implement a law that restricts or bans gender-affirming care for patients under 18. This law, which is effective immediately, prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty blockers or performing gender-transition surgeries.

South Carolina’s new law has implemented a ban on the prescription of puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery. Furthermore, the law also prohibits the use of public funds and Medicaid to cover the expenses of transition-related healthcare for residents of any age.

“I signed the Help Not Harm bill into law, which protects our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and bans public funds from being used for them,” McMaster, a Republican, wrote Tuesday in a post on X. “I look forward to joining legislators and supporters at a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week.”

Healthcare professionals in South Carolina may face severe consequences for providing gender-affirming care to minors, including the possibility of losing their licenses or being subjected to civil lawsuits. Performing gender transition surgery on minors may result in charges of inflicting bodily injury and carry a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years, if found guilty.

Under South Carolina’s new law, school administrators are now obligated to reach out to parents if their children opt to use a name or pronouns that differ from their assigned sex at birth.

The Help Not Harm measure was successfully passed earlier this month with a strong majority vote in both the state Senate and the state House.

The new law, H.4624, has faced strong criticism for being seen as a significant interference in the provision of medically necessary healthcare for transgender South Carolinians.

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