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All those bans on gender-affirming care aren’t random.
On a Saturday afternoon in August 2019, South Dakota Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch sent an email to 18 anti-trans activists, doctors, and lawyers with the text of a bill he planned to introduce that would make it a felony for doctors to give transgender children under 16 gender-affirming medical care. “I have no doubt this will be an uphill battle when we get to session,” Deutsch warned the group. “As always, please do not share this with the media. The longer we can fly under the radar the better.”
The message was one in a trove of emails obtained by Mother Jones between Deutsch and representatives of a network of activists and organizations at the forefront of the anti-trans movement. They show the degree to which these activists shaped Deutsch’s repressive legislation, a version of which was signed into law in February, and the tactics, alliances, and goals of a movement that has sought to foist their agenda on a national scale.
At the time, there was little precedent for such bills, and Deutsch’s legislation, called the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, was killed in the Senate after doctors showed up at the South Dakota statehouse to argue they should not be sent to prison for following the medical consensus. “Though our session in SD is now over and our efforts to protect gender-confused vulnerable children failed, I continue to receive ugly emails and social media posts,” Deutsch complained to the group in March 2020.
Indeed, Deutsch’s bill has proved influential in the recent surge of anti-LGBTQ lawmaking. In this legislative session, at least 18 states have considered bills containing language closely resembling the text of the Vulnerable Child Protection Act. The leaked emails reveal how Deutsch’s proposal helped proponents of the national movement to restrict gender-affirming care and establish a playbook for their now-common attacks.
Reporter Madison Pauly takes you behind the emails in our new video.
For the full report, head here: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/03/anti-trans-transgender-health-care-ban-legislation-bill-minors-children-lgbtq/
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