South Dakota governor signs trans youth health care ban

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has signed a bill that prohibits gender-affirming care for transgender people under the age of 18.

Noem’s office announced Monday that she had signed the bill, which bans the prescription of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and gender-affirming surgery for minors. South Dakota was among more than two dozen conservative states considering similar measures this year.

Major medical associations have endorsed such treatments for minors. Opponents of the bill said it violated the young people’s civil rights and was a government overreach into personal healthcare decisions. Supporters of the ban argued it protects adolescents from making decisions that could harm them for the rest of their lives.

Similar laws in Alabama and Arkansas are currently barred from going into effect by federal courts.


February 14, 2023