South Dakota Gov. Noem has ‘concerns’ on transgender treatment bill

South Dakota News
Kristi Noem

FILE – In this Jan. 2019 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks in Pierre, S.D. Noem said in a statement Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, that as part of the state’s settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union, the state will not enforce parts of the laws that made it a crime to direct or encourage others to “riot.” The ACLU sued over the laws, saying they infringed on free speech rights. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she has “concerns” with a bill in the House that would make it illegal for physicians to administer gender-change treatments to children under 16.

The Republican governor declined to offer full support or disapproval.

The bill would make it a misdemeanor for physicians to perform surgeries, administer hormone therapy or prescribe puberty-blocking medication to kids under 16.

Democrats and LGBT activists say the bill targets transgender kids and could lead to an increase in suicides.

Supporters, including many Republicans in the House, say the bill would prevent physicians from administering ideologically motivated treatment that harms children.

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