South Dakota Bill Protecting Parents’ Rights to Refuse Gender ‘Transition’ Treatment of Children Struck Down in Committee

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PIERRE, S.D. — A South Dakota bill that sought to protect the rights of parents to refuse medical or psychological “treatment” for their child if the course of action would affirm the thinking that their son or daughter is anything but their birth sex has been struck down in a legislative subcommittee. Some considered the measure to be unnecessary and discriminatory, while others wanted to ensure protections for parents and guardians surrounding this particular issue.

“A parent has a right to refuse consent to health care treatment of a minor child if the parent believes that the treatment would induce, confirm, or promote the child’s belief that the child’s sex or gender identity is different from the child’s sex presented at birth,” House Bill 1205 read. “No public authority or official of this state may take any adverse action against a parent for exercising this right.”

It defined health care as including “medical, psychiatric, psychological, and counseling services,” and noted that adverse action was to be “construed broadly” to include “any liability, penalty, or other legal disadvantage.” As The Daily Republic outlines, judges, for example, could not use the matter as a reason to deny a parent custody of their child.

The bill had five co-sponsors: Reps. Tom Pischke, R-Dell Rapids; Julie Frye-Mueller, R-Rapid City; Steve Livermont, R-Martin; Tony Randolph, R-Rapid City; and Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City.

“This bill seeks to put in proper perspective the role of parents in the care and nurture of their children,” Rep. Jensen said, according to the Argus Leader.

However, opponents of the measure asserted that the legislation was discriminatory and potentially harmful to children as it would allow the denial of “medically necessary” treatment.

“It implies that a parent’s objection to their child being transgender somehow obfuscates the child’s identity and trumps the child’s legitimate medical needs,” stated Roger Tellinghuisen, a local lobbyist representing the Human Rights Campaign. “Ultimately, it singles out some types of medical care for differential treatments simply because of stigma or dislike of the people requiring that treatment.”

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Some pointed to the suicide risk of those who identify as transgender.

“The reason why suicide is so prevalent among younger children is because of legislation like this,” Rep. Erin Healy, D-Sioux Falls, remarked. “When we introduce harmful legislation like this, we are harming our trans kids, and we need to be helping them.”

Jensen opined, however, that children need proper counseling and assistance, rather than offerings that “encourage the confusion and the gender dysphoria.”

The bill failed to pass the House Health and Human Services Committee, being struck down 5-8, and was also killed for the legislative session after Healy put forward a motion to defer the proposal. She stated that the effort was unnecessary as the state already has laws about parents’ rights surrounding the medical treatment of children.

The South Dakota Senate Education Committee also recently voted down legislation that would have required students involved in sports programs to compete in teams that align with their birth sex. However, the House Education Committee approved a bill last week that would prevent schools from teaching about gender dysphoria until the eighth grade.

As previously reported, the Bible teaches that all men are in the same predicament: All are born with the Adamic sin nature, having various inherent inclinations that are contrary to the law of God and being utterly incapable of changing themselves. It is why Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7 that men must be regenerated by the second birth, or they cannot see the kingdom of Heaven.

“Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus saith unto him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again.’”

In his book “The Duties of Parents,” the late preacher J.C. Ryle wrote, “You must not think it a strange and unusual thing that little hearts can be so full of sin. It is the only inheritance which our father Adam left us; it is that fallen nature with which we come into the world; it is that inheritance which belongs to us all. May the awareness of it make you more diligent in using every possible means which seem most likely, by God’s blessing, to counteract the evil. Let it make you more and more careful, so far it lies with you, to keep your children out of the way of temptation.”


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