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Noem signs bill banning gender transition surgery for minors in South Dakota

Physicians could lose their licenses for violating the law.

Published: February 13, 2023 8:00pm

Updated: February 14, 2023 12:12am

(The Center Square) -

Gov. Kristi Noem signed a bill Monday banning gender transition surgeries and treatments for minors in South Dakota.

Physicians could lose their licenses for violating House Bill 1080, which passed the Senate by a vote of 30-4 last week and passed the House of Representatives earlier this month by a vote of 60-10.

The legislation, called the "Help Not Harm" bill, bans doctors from prescribing drugs to stop normal puberty and some hormones. Doctors cannot perform surgeries that would alter a minor's sex. Surgeries that remove healthy body parts or tissues are also prohibited.

"With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures," Noem said in a statement.

Some groups, including the ACLU, opposed the bill.

"House Bill 1080 is a devastating and dangerous violation of the rights and privacy of transgender South Dakotans, their families and their medical providers," said Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager, in a statement. "Medical decisions belong to patients (and their parents) and their doctors – not the government. The only controversy in providing life-saving gender-affirming care for transgender youth in South Dakota is the one fabricated by legislators who want to see this harmful bill become law."

The bill takes effect on July 1, 2023. Doctors who think a minor would be harmed by stopping gender surgeries have until Dec. 31 to end treatment.