South Dakota Bans Gender-Affirming Medical Care for Transgender Youth

February 13, 2023 6:00 pm

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SIOUX FALLS – Ignoring the warnings of families, advocates, health care providers, and transgender South Dakotans themselves, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed a law banning gender-affirming health care for any transgender person under 18.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of South Dakota issued the following joint statement:

“Today is a heartbreaking and tragic day for thousands of South Dakotans and their families. This ban won’t stop South Dakotans from being trans, but it will deny them critical support that helps struggling transgender youth grow up to become thriving transgender adults. But make no mistake–this fight is not over. We will never stop fighting for the right of trans youth to get the love, support, and care that every young person deserves. As much as Governor Noem wants to force these young people to live a lie, we know they are strong enough to live their truth, and we will always fight for communities and policies that protect their freedom to do so.”

South Dakota is the fourth state in the country and the second state this legislative session to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth after Utah passed a similar ban last month. Similar laws in Alabama and Arkansas are currently enjoined by federal courts.

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