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Against medical guidance, Gov. Noem signs gender affirming care ban targeting youth

Sioux Falls, SD — Yesterday, Gov. Noem signed a youth gender affirming care ban into law, once again forcing politics into private, personal medical decisions. The bill will go into effect July 1st and will impact youth below the age of 18 who receive gender affirming medical care, which research shows can be lifesaving. Harmful legislation such as the care ban further stigmatizes, isolates, and negates the lived experiences of gender diverse people.

Transgender and gender non-conforming adolescents experience social stigma, discrimination, and physical and sexual violence that is associated with significant health disparities including increased rates of substance use, risk-taking behavior, and a two to three-fold increased risk of depression and suicidality. Comprehensive, gender-affirming care, and supportive social and family environments, leads to health outcomes for gender diverse teens that are similar to their cisgender peers.

Planned Parenthood will continue to provide gender affirming care in South Dakota to patients 18 years old and above, in accordance with the law.

Statement from Dr. Nicole Chaisson, Associate Medical Director and Director of Gender-Affirming Care at Planned Parenthood North Central States:

South Dakota youth deserve to make decisions about their own bodies in consultation with their medical providers and with the support of their families. By blocking youth from accessing medically necessary gender-affirming care, South Dakota politicians are harming some of the most vulnerable young people in the state.

This is an emotional time for our patients who are seeking this life-affirming and life-saving care. Gender transition is a deeply personal process and how someone transitions is their choice. When I work with gender-expansive youth and their families, I am proud to be in the room providing the best medical care possible that honors and respects their lived experience. LGBTQ+ youth need to be supported and protected instead of further stigmatized by lawmakers. Gender-expansive youth and their families deserve support and access to all medical options, and I am saddened that this harmful ban - that goes against medical science and best practices - will take effect in South Dakota.  

I want all transgender and gender expansive youth in South Dakota to know that we see you. You are loved. You are deserving of respect and autonomy.”



Founded in 1992, the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization. As the advocacy and electoral arm of PPMNS, we mobilize supporters of all parties to defend and increase access to family planning services and fact based, medically accurate sexuality education. We work to inspire and engage citizens to take up the cause of reproductive health and rights through education, electoral activity, grassroots organizing and legislative advocacy.


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