ACLU vows challenge to proposed transgender treatment ban

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday vowed a legal challenge if South Dakota passes a law banning gender-change treatment for children under 16.

The bill headed to the House floor next week would make it illegal for physicians to perform surgeries, administer hormone therapy or give puberty-blocking medication to children under 16 who want to change their gender

The ACLU said it's unconstitutional to single out a group of people with a law and categorically ban healthcare that is medically necessary.

The ACLU successfully challenged a South Dakota law passed last year that sought to make it illegal for people to participate in so-called “riot boosting” in advance of expected disruptive demonstrations against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The law made it illegal to direct or encourage rioting. The state settled with the civil rights organization in that lawsuit and agreed not to enforce parts of the law.