South Carolina bill could restrict medical transitions; transgender people say it’s a family decision

Grand Strand

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Transgender children in South Carolina could face more restrictions under a new bill.

The “Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act” would ban hormonal treatments and gender reassignment surgeries for minors.

Several local lawmakers have signed on as sponsors, including Horry County representatives Heather Ammons-Crawford and Russell Fry.

Some in the transgender community say the state’s trans youth deserves to be seen for who they are.

Ashley Nance made her transition two years ago and says her life has changed for the better. The 45-year-old Army veteran says transitioning in the deep south was not an easy decision to make.

“If you can imagine not being able to be who you truly are, that’s devastating,” Nance said.

The proposed bill would stall the transitioning process for children. Nance believes young people transitioning should wait on surgery until they’re 18, but says hormone therapy is safe.

“When there is something like a puberty blocker that is not permanent, then I don’t see the issue with helping somebody wait a little bit longer to make those decisions, such as surgical procedures that may not be reversible,” Nance said.

The Mayo Clinic reports hormone blockers are completely reversible. Nance is asking lawmakers to reconsider their bill.

“That just shows the uneducated decisions that some of our politicians can make sometimes. I would want them to get a little more educated before they go and start making these requests to change laws that are going to impact our lives,” Nance said.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Representative Cezar McKnight, told the Associated Press people should not make sex changes while they are teenagers. Nance says if a child has a supportive family, the decision should be up to a parent and child.

“Parents want to protect their children more than anyone. Why can’t you protect your own children? Is their protection for my child more important than my protection for my child? Now we’re crossing different boundaries,” Nance said.

News13 reached out to State Representatives Ammons-Crawford and Fry on Wednesday, but did not get a response.

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