Testimony in Support of The Vulnerable Child Protection Act

Presented before the South Dakota House State Affairs Committee

January 22, 2020

My name is Lynn Meagher and I am testifying today on behalf of the Kelsey Coalition, a national group of parents whose children identify as transgender.

Transgender identities among children are no longer rare, but are spreading throughout our schools, as this parent of an 8th-grade girl told us:

In my daughter's current classroom of 35 students, there are five children who identify as transgender. Three are on hormones. These kids are only 13-years old.

Nearly every day, we receive testimonials like this:

I took my daughter to a gender therapist and was shocked to learn there was no test, no diagnosis, no criteria beyond a child’s feelings to verify whether or not her self-diagnosis was accurate. Instead, the doctor put her on puberty blockers on the first visit.

Or this:

When we tried to get professional help for our teenage son, we talked to a psychiatrist. He wanted to give my son estrogen on the first day they met.

This parent describes what happened when she took her 13-year old daughter to a prestigious university clinic.

After spending only a couple of hours with us, without considering any other mental health or physical issues, the therapist told us to start her on testosterone that day.

And even more shockingly, another mother wrote:

Her pediatrician said she could refer her to get a hysterectomy. She was 16 at the time and it was the FIRST conversation she had about her feelings with this doctor.

While the FDA warns against prescribing testosterone to grown men, megadoses are being prescribed to young girls while surgeons are willing to remove their reproductive organs.

What happens when other factors are overlooked in a rush to hormones and surgery?  What if there is other trauma, other pain, behind these youthful feelings and troubles?  Can’t we heal the hurts without cutting the body? And once we have cut that beautiful body, when the voice is permanently broken, the beard is there for good, the breasts are gone, what happens if the body was never wrong to start with?  What will you tell the daughters that realize, too late, that they have destroyed their ability to bear children, or to nurse them?  When they find that their wounds had other causes, other origins, and required other treatments?

I plead with you to hear the parents, and the many stories of young people who have changed their minds after medical transition.  This is not healthcare, this is a medical experiment. This is not lifesaving care, these are criminal actions. And they must be stopped. Please vote yes on HB 1057. Thank you.

© 2020 The Kelsey Coalition