House lawmakers easily advance cross sex hormone ban for minors

House lawmakers overwhelmingly pass HB 1080, sending it to the state senate for further consideration.
Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) speaks in favor of HB 1080, which would ban cross sex hormone...
Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) speaks in favor of HB 1080, which would ban cross sex hormone therapy for minors in South Dakota.(Austin Goss DNN/KOTA)
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 2:31 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota House lawmakers easily advanced a bill Thursday that would prevent minors in the state from getting cross-sex hormone therapy.

The bill, HB 1080, is being carried by Rep. Bethany Soye (R-Sioux Falls).

Proponents point to media reports across South Dakota of transgender children in the state going through different forms of transgender healthcare.

“We treat kids differently under the law,” said Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids), a co-sponsor of the bill. “They need our protection.”

Opponents, like Rep. Kadyn Wittman (D-Sioux Falls) pointed to the cost of federal lawsuits being pursued in other states proposing similar legislation. Wittman cited a lawsuit against the state of Arkansas that had cost the state several million dollars in legal fees.

“I’m not asking you to pick a side, I’m not asking you to make a decision about transgender youth and their families, I am asking you to think about South Dakota taxpayers,” Wittman said in an appeal to the Republican dominated legislature.

Only three Republicans voted against the bill. Rep. Jess Olson (R-Rapid City) was the only Republican to speak in opposition. She took issue with the lack of data about how many children in South Dakota were receiving some form of transgender health care.

“If you can’t tell me it is a problem here, then as a conservative I am going to say we don’t need this law,” Olson said.

Soye and other lawmakers talked about a number of instances they were familiar with through reporting in the state.

“You don’t have to look very far to see that one of our biggest hospitals is promoting this,” Soye said.

The bill now heads to the State Senate for consideration. Gov. Kristi Noem has indicated that she intends to sign the bill into law, should it clear the legislature’s upper chamber.