On Monday, the South Dakota Senate killed a bill that would have permitted children under 16 who had undergone gender surgeries to sue health providers if the children regretted the decision later.
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 5-2 to kill the bill, House Bill 1057, whose prime sponsor was Rep. Fred Deutsch. The original bill stated that doctors who performed gender changing surgeries would face a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000, but Deutsch asked on Monday morning to amend the bill simply so the children could sue the health providers.
Nevertheless, the Senate voted to kill the bill anyway, as the Argus Leader reported, adding, “Deutsch said he set out to have a conversation and bill supporters were successful in that because it heightened parents’ awareness about the issue.” Deutsch said he believed Gov. Kristi Noem would oppose any similar legislation; Noem’s spokeswoman Kristin Wileman argued that Noem “never took a formal position on the legislation.”
Deutsch, a child of a Holocaust survivor, had stated that what precipitated his bill, titled the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, was learning on the Internet about young people who had undergone surgery and spoke of their consequent suffering.
Deutsch spoke on “Washington Watch” with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, where Deutsch stated:
You know, my involvement with this was … accidental. I just ran across stories of pain and suffering from young people on the internet and Twitter. And then I was led to a couple of sites on Reddit. I’d never been on there before … but it’s where a lot of these children who are hurting go, and they share their stories of pain and misery. And many of them didn’t understand what they were getting themselves into. So that moved me. You know, it’s not hard to be compassionate when you care about kids. And it [drove] me to research if any of this was being done in South Dakota — and I found out it was.
Deutsch continued by warning that girls are being given testosterone and boys estrogen by doctors in “ultra-high mega-doses, as well as, [encouraging] mastectomies and what they call the bottom surgery … You know, folks on the other side of the argument talk about puberty blockers as being a ‘pause button.’ And I’m saying, you know what? A much better possibility is just don’t give them the drugs or surgeries. Let them wait! Because according to the literature and all the studies over some 40 years, on average, about 85% of these kids will just come to acknowledge their normal natural [sex] that they’re born with if you don’t mess with them with drugs or surgery. So isn’t that a much better, ‘pause button?’ I think so.”
Deutsch added that there was “no contradiction” between respecting transgender individuals and his belief “that irreversible and experimental surgical and chemical interference with a child’s sexual development is morally indefensible.”
He concluded, “If you care about kids, I think you have to prioritize them. And in South Dakota, we don’t allow mutilation of our children. I don’t care if it’s doctors. I don’t care if it’s parents. You know, these kids on the Internet, they share pictures of themselves that just blow you away — of all these surgical scars, and it’s terrible. That should not ever be allowed. To me, that’s a crime against humanity when these procedures are done by these so-called doctors … that dance on the edge of medicine … You know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now.”