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The Great Seal of the State of North Dakota, hanging in the Great Hall of the Capitol building in Bismarck. (Photo: Greg Demme)
The Great Seal of the State of North Dakota, hanging in the Great Hall of the Capitol building in Bismarck. (Photo: Greg Demme)

North Dakota Proposed Bills Addressing Transgender Surgeries 

Lydia Hoverson
 December 9, 2022
 •

Freshman Legislator Introduces Ideas

lydia.hoverson@mydakotan.com 

BISMARCK — Some legislators are drafting bills that would address transgender surgeries on minors.

Representative Brandon Prichard, R-Dis. 8, Bismarck, is planning to sponsor a bill that would provide a civil penalty to such surgeries, wherein the person that was affected by the surgery could sue both their legal guardians and the doctor who completed the surgery within a 30-year time period. A draft of the bill can be found here.

Another bill Prichard may take on is one that would make such surgeries a criminal offense, though he said he may hand it off to another legislator who agrees with the idea. In this proposed bill, a state’s attorney could prosecute a doctor for performing the surgery on a minor. A draft of this bill can be found here.

Prichard said the reason he is taking the first approach on civil penalties is to avoid state’s attorneys not pursuing cases. He clarified that nothing is finalized, and he only has the drafts to the bills.

“If you’re ten years old and you have this surgery done to change your gender because you’re having a mental problem, or social contagion, or it’s just popular, or whatever reason, within a 30-year time period they could sue the doctor that completed the surgery,” said Prichard. “They could also sue their parents in this bill for neglect. The benefit of that is we can bypass the state’s attorneys and the individual can achieve justice.”

Prichard gave his reason for why he wishes to sponsor such bills.

“Legislators have an obligation to protect children from an agenda that would corrupt their innocence and leave devastating, life-altering ramifications on their body and mental wellness,” Prichard said. “Both pieces of legislation are common sense.”

“We won’t comment on legislation until it’s been introduced and we are able to review the actual language of the legislation,” said House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, D-Dis. 44, Fargo.

However, one democratic legislator shared his opinion on the proposed bills.

“Major surgeries like this have significant ethical standards and protocols to follow. Further laws are not warranted,” said Senator Tim Mathern, D-Dis. 11, Fargo.

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