‘A huge win’: Conservative group reacts to MUSC ending pediatric transgender clinics
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A conservative group of politicians from around the state call this “a win for childhood innocence” after the Medical University of South Carolina says they are dropping their pediatric transgender clinics.
This means the hospital will no longer provide hormonal care or surgeries for transgender minors. The move comes after legislation passed in June addressing these services and the hospital’s state funding.
The South Carolina Freedom Caucus says this should have been done in order to follow the legislature’s most recent fiscal budget.
MUSC receives money from both state agencies and from the state of South Carolina, in addition to federal funds. Hospital officials say they have worked diligently to make sure they are in compliance with the 2022-2023 Appropriations Act and proviso 23.4.
Proviso 23.4 states:
“No funds appropriated to MUSC pursuant to this appropriations act shall be used to fund or support any action furthering the gender transition of a minor child under the age of sixteen. This proviso shall not prohibit MUSC from providing medically necessary treatment that is unrelated to physical gender transition. Further, this proviso does not prohibit mental health counseling services.”
MUSC released the following statements related to the decision and its current policies.
- MUSC Health has worked diligently to make sure that we are in compliance with the 2022-2023 Appropriations Act and proviso 23.4 and will do the same with any future legislative requirements/directives.
- MUSC Health does not have a dedicated pediatric/adolescent transgender endocrine clinic.
- MUSC Health no longer provides pediatric/adolescent transgender hormonal care.
- MUSC Health does not offer gender-altering surgery.
- Behavioral health and nutritional support and social services are provided, based on need, for all pediatric patients and families regardless of sex, gender orientation, or race.
- The parents or legal guardians of any patient under legal age are involved in all decision-making regarding their children.
“In South Carolina, you can’t get a tattoo until you’re 18,” Jordan Pace, Representative for House District 117 and member of the Freedom Caucus, said. “Much less, make permanent changes to your body in that regard.”
Pace says his organization has requested information from MUSC asking how old these patients have been in this clinic and they have yet to hear back. To his knowledge, he says they’ve heard of patients as young as four. He says MUSC’s endocrine center is moving in a positive direction.
“My hope and our hope is if they feel like they need to see a therapist, you know, that’s there, that’s available,” Pace said. “What we hope they don’t do it is make permanent changes that they’re going to regret.”
A number of LGBTQ+ organizations across the state have not responded for a comment on this change. MUSC was asked if patients that were already in the clinics have been referred elsewhere and what led to this decision, amongst other questions, and they have yet to respond as well.
MUSC’s current LGBTQ+ services can be found here, and more information on their endocrine clinic can be found here.
Read below for the full statement from the Freedom Caucus.
On Dec. 21, MUSC responded to South Carolina Freedom Caucus’s claim. You can find their statement in this story.
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