News, Policy Updates

S.C. Senate Votes to Ban Medically Necessary Care for Trans Youth

by Kelli R. Parker on May 3, 2024

WREN is outraged that the South Carolina Senate voted to pass the dangerous and discriminatory House Bill 4624, cruelly banning medically necessary healthcare for transgender people. This unconscionable law directly attacks the fundamental rights, well-being, and human dignity of our transgender neighbors, friends, and family members.

Rather than prioritizing the real issues facing South Carolinians — like child poverty, rampant gun violence, and families struggling to make ends meet – our lawmakers shamefully chose to promote hate, fear, and discrimination under the guise of “protecting kids.” Laws blocking healthcare are a violation of human rights and a major setback for equality.

“As the mother of three children, I am horrified at the decision our representatives have made,” says WREN CEO Dr. Amalia Luxardo. “This bill is in direct opposition to what it means to protect our children; it will only lead to heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and suicide. With suicide rates skyrocketing among kids as young as seven in the last several years, it’s time we start prioritizing their health. Our children and communities deserve better.”

Why do our lawmakers assume they know better than parents of transgender youth or the medical professionals who care for them? Who actually benefits from these cruel actions besides the policymakers themselves?

We stand in solidarity with our transgender community members, and we will continue fighting to protect their access to essential, affirmative healthcare. No one should ever be denied medical care because of who they are.

What comes next?

The House passed the bill in January, but the Senate made changes so either the House can vote to adopt the Senate version or it will go to a conference committee of three members from each chamber to resolve the differences.

We have two final chances to defeat this awful legislation. If you’ve had enough of the relentless attacks on bodily autonomy, we implore you to raise your voices. Contact your House representatives directly and demand they vote NO. If it moves to the Governor’s desk, we have to urge him to veto it.

Gender-affirming care is vital, evidence-based treatment recommended by all major medical authorities. Denying this life-saving care puts vulnerable transgender youth and adults at greater risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide.

WREN strongly rejects the notion that the government has the authority or the understanding to determine who our children are or who they should be. People, not politicians, deserve the right to decide what’s best for them and their families.

Our defiance of these attacks will help create a future where every person is respected, supported, affirmed, and empowered.

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