South Carolina governor signs gender-affirming care ban

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed a bill banning gender-affirming care treatments and procedures for those under 18 in his state Tuesday.

“I signed the Help Not Harm bill into law, which protects our state’s children from irreversible gender transition procedures and bans public funds from being used for them,” McMaster said in a post on the social platform X Tuesday. “I look forward to joining legislators and supporters at a ceremonial bill signing in the Upstate next week.”

The bill, House Bill 4264, states that a “physician, mental health provider, or other health care professional shall not knowingly provide gender transition procedures to a person under eighteen years of age” and that those who do so “shall, upon an adverse ruling by the appropriate licensing board, be considered unprofessional conduct and shall be subject to discipline by the licensing entity with jurisdiction over the physician, mental health provider, or other medical health care professional.”

“Across the state, from the Lowcountry to the Upstate, South Carolinians are mourning the passage of H.4624, which will make it immeasurably harder for transgender youth and many adults to access the life-saving healthcare that they need and deserve,” Chase Glenn, a leader in the LGBTQ advocacy group SC United for Justice & Equality, said in a statement in a Tuesday press release.

“But let me be clear: This loss does not crumble a movement,” Glenn continued. “Our movement supporting transgender people in South Carolina is louder and stronger than it’s ever been. We’ve marched at the State House, we’ve told our stories, and we’ve made sure our lawmakers heard from us. Now, we will do everything in our power to support our community through this crisis.”

Jace Woodrum, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of South Carolina, said in a press release Tuesday that the group stands “in grief and solidarity with LGBTQ South Carolinians, who are increasingly under attack by our own government.”

“We can put to rest the notion that the governor cares about limited government and personal freedom,” Woodrum’s statement continues. “With the stroke of a pen, he has chosen to insert the will of politicians into healthcare decisions, trample on the liberties of trans South Carolinians, and deny the rights of the parents of trans minors.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.