The Republican-led South Carolina House overwhelmingly approved a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors on Wednesday, while a Missouri legislative committee discussed a slew of like-minded proposals.
The measures’ consideration in the two GOP strongholds highlights the continued interest among conservative lawmakers in targeting issues that impact LGBTQ+ people after a wave of high-profile bills last year. The South Carolina proposal will soon head to the state Senate, where the chair of the Medical Affairs Committee has said it would have his attention.
South Carolina is one of the few Southern states without a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. The bill its Republican-dominated House approved would bar health professionals from performing gender-transition surgeries, prescribing puberty-blocking drugs and overseeing hormone treatments for patients under 18 years old. People under 26 could not use Medicaid to cover the costs for such care, and school employees could not withhold knowledge of a student’s transgender identity from their legal guardians.