A new report from ProPublica highlights how anti-transgender politicians wreak havoc in the lives of South Carolina children and their families.
The article, “Emails Reveal How a Hospital Bowed to Political Pressure to Stop Treating Trans Teens,” uses public records to show how the threats and rhetoric of anti-trans lawmakers pushed the publicly funded Medical University of South Carolina to halt medically necessary gender-affirming care for minors in 2022.
According to ProPublica’s reporting, patients who had already begun receiving care at MUSC were left in the dark as hospital leaders scrambled to change policies under threat of defunding by hard-right extremists like Rep. Thomas Beach, a member of the South Carolina Freedom Caucus.
Jace Woodrum, executive director of the ACLU of South Carolina, responded to the news:
Imagine if your child had a medical diagnosis, but a politician in Columbia decided your child couldn’t have the treatment. That is the infuriating scenario that families of transgender youth find themselves in today, thanks to the barrage of anti-trans bills, budget provisos, and rants emanating from the South Carolina General Assembly, specifically from the S.C. Freedom Caucus.
The S.C. Freedom Caucus and its enablers are pushing a misguided agenda that doesn’t look anything like freedom, but picking on kids and taking away their healthcare is dangerous and mean. Instead of letting parents make medical decisions for their children alongside healthcare professionals, the Freedom Caucus is causing real suffering for pediatric patients and their families.
Transgender youth belong here, and so do their families. We will always show up to defend them.
South Carolina has not passed a statewide ban on gender-affirming care, which is supported by every major medical association in the country. We were able to stave off the worst attacks in 2023, but we need all hands on deck when the state legislature returns in January 2024. Please consider joining our efforts via the S.C. United for Justice & Equality coalition.
If you are a family member of a transgender young person looking for support, contact the Southern Trans Youth Emergency Project.