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Earlier this week (January 9th), SC United for Justice & Equality alerted a media with news of the passage through subcommittee of H.4624, the ban on medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth. The organization reports, “There was some inspiring and powerful testimony against the bill. Fifty people testived and all but one supported the bill.” A rally at the SC Statehouse was planned for the next day. Representatives from the organization have been invited to appear on a future edition of The Snowstorm.


The South Carolina House Medical and Health Affairs Subcommittee voted to advance H.4624 favorably to the full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. The bill would ban medically necessary healthcare for transgender youth under the age of 18 in South Carolina, including puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery. Further, it prevents public funds from being used to cover the cost of transition-related healthcare for youth and adults. A surge of anti-transgender legislation like this has passed all over the country in the past two years; until 2021, no state had laws that banned transgender youth from accessing this healthcare.

The vote on H.4624 came after 50 people testified on the bill – 49 people from all across South Carolina spoke against the bill, and only 1 person, representing the far-right group Alliance Defending Freedom (which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center), testified in favor.

The subcommittee did vote in favor of two amendments that mitigate a small fraction of the damage of the bill. One amendment removes language prohibiting providers from “aiding and abetting” youth in accessing gender-affirming care and clarifies that the bill should not be construed to blockade any affirming mental health care (the original bill as written was so broad that it could be read as a way to block even talk therapy). Another amendment removes a clause requiring teachers and school staff to notify parents if they suspect a student of being transgender.

Jace Woodrum, a leader in the SC United for Justice & Equality coalition who also serves as Executive Director of the ACLU of South Carolina, was one of the people who testified today. He said in response to the vote:

“I am so grateful for every transgender person and ally to transgender people who came out today to speak against this shameful and dangerous legislation. We heard from parents concerned about the health and safety of their children, a sister who saw the joy and independence that gender-affirming care brought to her brother, medical providers who know the science, and community members who spoke powerfully about their experiences as transgender South Carolinians. It is heart-breaking that even after such powerful testimony, lawmakers still voted to advance such a divisive bill that cruelly targets children.”

“Let’s be clear: Extreme lawmakers are moving so quickly with this discriminatory bill because they want us to be complacent, stay quiet, and think this fight is hopeless. But together, we will be there every step of the way to speak out and force them to look us in the eye while they harm our community. We will never stop sending a message of love, support, and solidarity to transgender young people in South Carolina.”

Advocates from the SC United for Justice & Equality coalition are available to speak with media about the legislation and its damaging impact on transgender youth.

SC United for Justice and Equality envisions a South Carolina where everyone can thrive, with a focus on the lived and legal equality of LGBTQ people. The coalition advocates for the passage of legislation to protect LGBTQ community members and opposes anti-LGBTQ legislation. The coalition also works on intersecting issues of social justice, including racial justice, reproductive justice, voting rights, and health care access.


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