The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports the passage of House Bill 1080. This legislation, often referred to as the “Help Not Harm” bill, would prohibit medical providers from prescribing puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones, or conducting mutilating surgeries on a child who has emotional distress surrounding his or her sex.
HB 1080 would protect boys and girls from harmful medical procedures that often result in irreversible damage, such as sterilization and disfigurement. As theories of sex and gender inconsistent with nature and the natural moral law are increasingly prevalent in popular culture, it is essential for the law to protect children while they develop and mature physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Children are not always capable of understanding the long-term consequences of their decisions. This is the rationale behind laws that restrict the ability of minors to sign contracts, enter into a marriage, purchase alcohol and tobacco, and vote, to name a few examples.
The Church has deep compassion for the experience of suffering that marks those with gender dysphoria, and firmly insists on the dignity of all human persons as created and loved by God. HB 1080 would ensure children, especially those experiencing distress concerning their sex, are given the chance to develop and grow in understanding the gift of their created nature without pressures towards harmful medicalization.