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(LifeSiteNews) — Republicans in South Carolina’s House of Representatives on Wednesday forwarded a bill to the Senate to protect minors from destructive transgender drugs and surgeries. Many states have moved to enact similar laws despite baseless claims from advocates of transgender ideology who argue that the measures will harm gender-confused children by preventing them from being castrated and mutilated. 

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 82-23 to send H 4624 on to the Senate. 

“Today, we take a stand for the protection of our children, ensuring they are not exposed to irreversible medical procedures at an age when they are most vulnerable,” Republican congresswoman Sylleste Davis said.

According to the language of the legislation, “[a] physician, mental health provider, or other health care professional shall not engage in the provision or performance of gender transition procedures to a person under 18 years of age.” A physician who violates the law by performing “genital gender reassignment surgery… is guilty of inflicting great bodily injury upon a child.”

The bill would also prohibit any public school employee from failing to inform a child’s parents about that child’s gender confusion, or “encourag[ing] or coerc[ing] a minor to withhold from the minor’s parent or legal guardian the fact that the minor’s perception of his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.”

READ: American Academy of Pediatrics article calls banning trans ‘care’ for kids ‘medical neglect,’ ‘emotional abuse’

Catherine Gunsalus, director of state advocacy for conservative advocacy group Heritage Action, praised the passage of the legislation in a Thursday statement.

“Children are not social experiments,” Gunsalus said. “Dangerous hormones and irreversible operations for kids should be illegal in South Carolina and every state in the Union.”

“When a child is struggling, they need compassionate care — not experimental drugs and surgeries that destroy their physical and mental health and subject them to irreparable harm,” she said.

The Associated Press noted that several “more definite penalties” proposed by Republicans didn’t make the final cut despite the overall bill passing. The current version as passed by the House “allows medical licensing boards to discipline health care professionals who provide the banned treatments” but “does not expose medical providers to criminal liability as in Florida or civil liability as in Georgia,” according to the AP.

Twenty-two or more states have thus far passed measures like South Carolina’s to protect children from the devastating impacts of transgender drugs and surgeries, directly contrasting with efforts by transgender activists, left-wing organizations, and even top-brand medical associations that have become captured by transgender ideology, which insist that such laws will cause harm to young people.

Despite such claims, however, the surgeries and drugs themselves are actively causing irreparable harm.

As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, transgender surgeries and drugs have been linked to permanent physical and psychological damage, including cardiovascular diseases, loss of bone density, cancer, strokes and blood clots, infertility, as well as suicidality.

READ: Transgender ideology violates the primary duty of doctors to ‘do no harm’

Writing in response to an article from the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) that suggested that laws prohibiting transgender procedures for gender-confused children “amounts to state-sanctioned medical neglect and emotional abuse,” Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor Kathleen McDeavitt noted that the authors’ claims that so-called “gender affirming care” “‘does not cause harm’ and ‘decreases many negative health outcomes, including rates of depression’” are not backed by “relevant citations.”

“Although youth GAC has the support of the professional medical community in the United States, that does not mean there is no risk of harm,” McDeavitt said. She added that “systematic reviews have found the quality of evidence in this field is low, meaning the literature does not actually show, with any reasonable degree of certainty, that youth GAC decreases rates of negative mental health outcomes.”