Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

SD Plan to Ban Gender-Affirming Care Stokes Privacy Debate


Monday, February 6, 2023   

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth.

It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters saying they want to protect minors, while opponents call it a major intrusion on a family's personal medical decisions.

The state Senate is expected to take up the bill after it was overwhelmingly approved by the House last week. It would prohibit treatments like hormone therapy for those under 18.

Bill sponsors say adolescents shouldn't be seeking out care they might regret. But Susan Williams, executive director of South Dakota's Transformation Project Advocacy Network, pointed out that these aren't rash decisions made by teens on their own.

"Gender-affirming care would start with a therapist meeting with a family, meeting with a youth and doing several assessments," said Williams. "That can take six months or more."

She said lawmakers trying to have their say would be violating a family's privacy.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says having this care for adolescents is a crucial part of helping them thrive.

Last year, South Dakota approved a law banning transgender youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Other conservative states have adopted similar laws, including targeting gender-affirming care.

Williams said she feels there's too much misinformation being floated within these debates.

"They're using words like 'genital mutilation' and 'chemical castration,'" said Williams, "and these words are meant to instill fear in the general public."

The HHS says procedures such as gender-affirming surgeries are typically used in adulthood.

Meanwhile, some of the laws in other states have led to lawsuits. Opponents of the South Dakota bill predict as currently written, it would lead to costly litigation.

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