South Carolina Representative Stewart Jones recently introduced a bill that will penalize doctors for treating transgender patients, according to Out.
As is transgender people don’t have it hard enough as it is, House Bill 4716, also known as the Youth Gender Reassignment Prevention Act, states that disciplinary action will be taken against doctors who in any way aids in their patients’ gender transition, which includes a broad range of things, from hormone therapy to recommending a change of appearance to the person’s correct gender. So telling someone to grow their hair out or cut it to make themselves look more feminine or masculine respectively (not to add any gender roles into this) could be met with disciplinary action, despite being fairly innocuous suggestions.
As it is with most things related to the topic, Jones doesn’t have a firm grasp on understanding transgender issues, as he has demonstrated in meetings. He said in justification of this bill that minors shouldn’t have a sex change because they can’t even legally buy cigarettes. Ignoring the nonexistent correlation between buying cigarettes and transitioning, a sex change is not a term that is used in a clinical setting and gender transitioning is much more involved than getting surgery. Additionally, phalloplasties and vaginoplasties aren’t available for people until they reach adulthood, according to physician Dr. Jack Turban, so any self-respecting and ethical physician wouldn’t perform such surgeries on a minor anyway.
Doctors don’t even have to perform or suggest surgery to help their transgender patients’ mentality, as the American Academy of Pediatrics, a group consisting of almost 70,000 physicians, recommended that doctors provide “youth with access to comprehensive gender-affirming and developmentally appropriate health care.” I’m not transgender myself but I can certainly see why treating transgender patients with the respect they deserve can be a big help.
While I’m not transgender, I do know a few transgender people who are much happier now that they have people seeing them as their actual gender and not the gender that was assigned to them at birth, so the fact that Jones is actively trying to stop that from happening in South Carolina is sickening. Let’s just hope this bill doesn’t get passed.