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'We Are Protecting Kids': Gov. Noem Signs Bill Banning Puberty Blockers, Gender-Change Surgeries for Kids


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South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem has signed a bill into law that bans harmful and experimental puberty blockers and mutilating irreversible surgeries for children and teens who struggle with gender confusion. 

Gov. Noem signed HB 1080, also known as the "Help Not Harm" bill, on Feb. 13 after the state legislature overwhelmingly passed it 30-4. 

"South Dakota's kids are our future. With this legislation, we are protecting kids from harmful, permanent medical procedures," Noem said in a statement. "I will always stand up for the next generation of South Dakotans."

slider img 2Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, "We commend Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota legislators for protecting children in their state from this medical mutilation. The assault on our children to push them into these harmful procedures without fully comprehending the consequences is appalling. More states must protect minors from irreversible and unnecessary medications and mutilating surgeries." 

The new state law bans procedures by  healthcare professionals "for the purpose of attempting to alter the appearance of, or to validate a minor's perception of, the minor's sex if that appearance or perception is inconsistent with the minor's sex."

This means a medical professional may not: 

  • Prescribe or administer any drug to delay or stop normal puberty
  • Prescribe or administer testosterone, estrogen, or progesterone, in amounts greater than would normally be produced endogenously in a healthy individual of the same age and sex
  • Perform any sterilizing surgery, including castration, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, orchiectomy, penectomy, and vasectomy
  • Perform any surgery that artificially constructs tissue having the appearance of genitalia differing from the minor's sex, including metoidioplasty, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty
  • Remove any healthy or non-diseased body part or tissue

Doctors who violate the law may face punishment, including the revoking of their medical license as well as possible civil litigation.

The bill also addresses children who are currently taking puberty blockers. 

For any minor who was given puberty blockers before July 1, 2023, and it is determined that "immediately terminating the minor's use of the drug or hormone would cause harm to the minor," then the drugs can be "systematically reduced" during a period that "may not extend beyond December 31, 2023."  

South Dakota is now the ninth state to enact legislation to protect children from these procedures, joining Utah, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, and Texas.  

According to, 21 other states are also considering a range of 72 similar bills this year. 

One of these states is Oklahoma.  As CBN News reported earlier this month, Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has called for a statewide ban on gender transition surgeries and life-altering hormones for minors. Last year, Stitt signed bills to prevent transgender athletes from participating in female sports and to require students to use the school restroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, according to The Tulsa World.

If passed, Oklahoma's transgender healthcare legislation would be the strictest in the U.S. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of