The South Dakota House has approved legislation that would ban doctors from providing hormones and surgery for patients 15 years old and younger who are dealing with gender identity issues.
"This bill is just a pause button," says state Representative Fred Deutsch (R- District 4), the primary sponsor of HB 1057. "That's all."
Deutsch says he got the idea to write the bill after seeing reports about young people who regretted getting treatments.
"They took these steroids and underwent all these processes, many of which are irreversible, permanent, and I just couldn't help but feel terrible for them," says Deutsch. "So I started to look into exploring if this happens in my state, and I found that it does."
The legislation has its critics, though. In an op-ed published on NBCNews.com, Dr. Alexis Chavez, medical director for The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, says this "puts transgender youth lives at risk to forward a fear-mongering agenda."
"This is a bill of compassion," counters Deutsch. "We want them to get emotional help, to get counselors, and [be] embraced and loved by their parents, but we don't want them to take irreversible drugs and surgeries while they're young."
Deutsch adds that legislatures throughout the country pass laws that prevent children from smoking, drinking, getting tattoos, or having sexual relations before a certain age.
"Don't you think it appropriate to have a bill that says, 'Wait until you're 16 before you have these procedures done,'" he poses.
HB 1057 now goes to the Senate for approval.