Just yesterday, Governor Noem signed HB1080, the Help not harm act.

House Bill 1080, also known as the “Help, Not Harm” bill, will prevent doctors from administering puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones or performing surgery “for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of, or to validate a minor’s perception of, the minor’s sex, if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex.”

“As a child I wanted to be a boy,” said Rep. Bethany Soye, the bill’s House sponsor. “I wore boy clothes, and I came up with a name for myself, and in third grade, I wrote that name on all my class assignments. However, my parents didn’t take me in for chemical treatments; they just supported me, loved me, and allowed me to experience childhood. I went through natural puberty and changed to loving being a girl.”

The South Dakota House voted 60-10 to pass the bill on February 2. Last Thursday, the South Dakota Senate voted 30-4 in favor as well.

South Dakota was the first state to introduce a bill like this in 2020. At the time, the bill was defeated, but this time is different. Now, people are watching male athletes dominate their competition on female sports teams, taking hard-earned spots from deserving females.

People are also hearing heartbreaking stories from detransitioners like Chloe Cole, who are detailing the abuse they were subjected to by “gender affirming” doctors and speaking out about their deep pain and regret. Chloe even came to the Senate hearing for this bill.

Lastly, South Dakotans are seeing advertisements from Sanford Health inviting doctors to come learn more about “sex changes” for minors. Our state’s citizens and representatives are right to be deeply concerned and take action.

Puberty blockers arrest brain and bone development. Children lose key years of growth, and there’s no evidence that they can get it back later. More potential risks include emotional lability, mood changes, weight gain, vaginal hemorrhage, cardiovascular disease, and decreased bone density. Almost 100% of children who receive puberty blockers decide to continue forward and receive cross-sex hormones, which cause sterilization.

Procedures including breast removal and cosmetic genital surgery are irreversible and come with major complications. Further, the largest study tracking transgender people encompassed the entire population of Sweden over a 30-year period and showed that hormones and sex reassignment surgery still left people at a 19 times higher risk of completed suicide compared to the general population.

The vast majority of children suffering from gender dysphoria will eventually re-identify with their biological sex, but placing them on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones almost guarantees that they will struggle with gender identity for the rest of their lives. Thankfully, South Dakota children will be protected from this horrendous abuse disguised as healthcare.