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South Carolina Governor Henry McMasterLifeSiteNews

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (LifeSiteNews) — South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law Tuesday a ban on surgically or chemically mutilating confused minors for the sake of “transitioning” them away from their true gender.

House Bill 4624, the Help Not Harm bill, prohibits medical professionals from subjecting anyone under 18 years old to puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, or “genital or nongenital gender reassignment surgery,” as LifeSiteNews reported. Violators risk losing their licenses, including for “inflicting great bodily injury upon a child.” Victims have a three-year window in which they can sue violators for damages.

READ: South Carolina passes ban on transgender surgeries for children, secret ‘transitions’ at school

The law also requires any minor put on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones prior to the bill taking effect be weaned off of them by January 31, 2025, as well as bans taxpayer dollars from “directly or indirectly” supporting “transitions” and Medicaid reimbursements for the practice.

The bill additionally covers parental rights in public education, requiring schools to immediately notify parents in writing if their child claims to identify as something other than his or her sex or asks to be addressed by transgender pronouns, and prohibits school employees from withholding information about children’s gender confusion from their parents or encouraging or coercing children to do so.

HB 4624 passed the state Senate 28-8 and the House 67-26, with the backing of only three Democrats. 

READ: Mayo Clinic study on damage from puberty blockers included ‘transgender’ two-year-old

McMaster announced his signing of the bill on Monday, declaring it “protects our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and bans public funds from being used for them. I look forward to joining legislators and supporters at a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week.”

“Time and time again, we see the most harmful policies from the Left come after the most vulnerable amongst us,” South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick added, The Center Square reports. “But time and time again, South Carolina’s Republican lawmakers and Governor McMaster stand up for those who need defending. This time, it was for our children and the dangerous procedures and irreversible effects of ‘gender reassignment’ surgeries.”

“When it comes to our kids, Republicans in South Carolina will fight tirelessly to help, not harm,” he vowed. “And today, that’s exactly what we did.”

A significant body of evidence shows that “affirming” gender confusion carries serious harms, especially when done with impressionable children who lack the mental development, emotional maturity, and life experience to consider the long-term ramifications of the decisions being pushed on them, or full knowledge about the long-term effects of life-altering, physically transformative, and often irreversible surgical and chemical procedures.

READ: Transgender hormones linked to ‘substantially’ higher risk of heart attack, stroke: study

Studies find that more than 80 percent of children suffering gender dysphoria outgrow it on their own by late adolescence, and that full “reassignment” surgery fails to resolve gender-confused individuals’ heightened tendency to engage in self-harm and suicide – and may even exacerbate it, including by reinforcing their confusion and neglecting the actual root causes of their mental strife.

Yet indoctrination of children with left-wing ideology on sexuality and affirmation of gender confusion have long been major concerns in American public schools, from libraries to athletic and restroom policy to drag events to classroom materials to even socially “transitioning” troubled children without parental input. Many schools have also displayed hostility to the rights and employment of individual teachers who refuse to go along with such agendas, regardless of their treatment of or rapport with gender-confused students.

The danger of keeping parents in the dark about such developments is grimly illustrated in the story of Yaeli Martinez, a 19-year-old to whom “gender transitioning” was touted as a possible cure for her depression in high school, supported by a high school counselor who withheld what she was going through from her mother. The troubled girl killed herself in 2019 after trying to live as a man for three years.