HRC’s Weekly State Fights Report: South Carolina Poised to Plunge South Into Health Care Crisis for Transgender People

by Brandon Wolf

Data Updated May 3



Many state legislatures have either ended their annual sessions or are nearing the finish line. What is clear is that momentum has swung toward equality. Last week’s dramatic showdown over Kansas’ attempt to ban access to medically necessary health care for transgender young people underscored what has been brewing across the country: Americans’ fatigue and opposition to anti-LGBTQ+ attacks, many of which have derailed or delayed necessary policy discussions on urgent issues. This backlash from their constituents is driving politicians across party lines to push back on the MAGA anti-LGBTQ+ agenda. Two Republican members of the Kansas House of Representatives who had previously supported the ban on care shifted their votes following weeks of demands from constituents to leave politics out of the doctor’s office. While states like Alabama, Tennessee, and Utah continue to ram through hate-fueled legislation this year, the tide is turning in favor of the fight for equality.


Last week, the South Carolina Senate amended and advanced a bill to ban access to medically necessary, best practice health care for transgender youth and ban state funding for that care, including via Medicaid, for transgender people of all ages. That bill could be taken up by the House as early as tomorrow, putting the state precariously close to upending care for young people. As it stands, South Carolina is one of two states in the South without such a ban, alongside Virginia. The impacts of a ban could be catastrophic, both for South Carolinian families as well as those who are currently traveling to South Carolina to avoid their own state’s restrictions.


Pro-Equality Bills

  • Colorado: On Monday, Governor Polis signed SB 24-1039. This new law requires school staff to use a student’s chosen name. Any refusal to do so or intentional use of a different name would be considered discriminatory behavior under this law.

Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills

  • Alabama: On April 25th, the governor signed HB89. The new law allows state lawmakers to elect members of the North Shelby library board instead of the public, in a punitive measure following the library’s Pride display last year.

  • Tennessee: Last Monday, Governor Bill Lee signed SB 2501. This new law establishes deadlines for colleges and universities to investigate student and employee allegations that they were penalized for refusing to support so-called “divisive concepts”, specific ideologies, or political views. Under this law, an institution that fails to investigate or take action within the timeframe would be subject to a withholding of state funds. Still awaiting consideration from the governor is SB 1810, a bill that would force school staff to out transgender students without their consent.


“These decisions belong between the team of professionals and the parents. The youth need our help, not government overreach. To all who have reached out, I hear you.”

GOP Kansas State Representative Susan Concannon on her vote to sustain Governor Kelly’s veto of a gender affirming care ban

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The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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