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Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, Secret Service director says, 'We failed;' Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

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Democrats consolidate support behind Vice President Harris, Republicans threaten legal action over changes to the presidential ticket, and a possible bipartisan consensus forms on the failure of the Secret Service to protect former President Trump.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

SD sends mixed messages on youth rights

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Monday, May 20, 2024   

A staggering 93% of transgender teens live in states that have either enacted or proposed laws that would restrict their rights - according to a new report from the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles' School of Law.

South Dakota has banned transgender girls and women from playing on women's sports teams in schools and universities, and has banned gender-affirming care for youth under 18.

Proponents argue that children shouldn't be making medical decisions.

But Susan Williams - executive director of the Transformation Project, a transgender advocacy group - said those arguments are ironic when the South Dakota Legislature voted this session to keep the legal age for marriage at 16.

"They're really speaking out of both sides of their mouths," said Williams, "because they're allowing kids to get married at the age of 16 and above, but not allowing kids - with their parents support and with their doctor's provision - to be able to get the kind of care that they need."

Some 86% of transgender and nonbinary youths say debates around anti-trans bills have negatively affected their mental health, according to The Trevor Project.

One legislator who has sponsored anti-trans bills in South Dakota, state Rep. Fred Deutsch - R-Florence - is running for a state Senate seat in the June primary.

Half of all transgender youth in the U.S. live in 14 states and the District of Columbia that have enacted shield laws, which protect doctors and parents who have sought gender-affirming care for trans youth.

Williams said South Dakotans seeking that care are looking across state lines.

"We're seeing that a lot of families from South Dakota are heading to Minnesota, to Kansas, to Colorado," said Williams, "to get the kind of care that they deserve."

She said the Transformation Project offers funds to help pay expenses for trans children and their families who have to travel to receive care.




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