Arkansas bans gender-affirming care to trans youths

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson adresses the press. Photo: NBC | Screenshot

The state of Arkansas becomes the first in the United States to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming treatment for trans youths under the age of 18.

The state's General Assembly voted to override the governor's veto of "House Bill 1570" which the governor called to be, "a vast government overreach."

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson's veto was overridden by a GOP-controlled House by 71-24. The Republican-controlled Senate voted to override the veto 25-8 shortly after.

LGBTQIA+ experts have denounced Tuesday's actions which are deemed to be a step backward in the path of achieving gender equality for transpeople.

The Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act was passed by the Senate last month with a vote of 28-7. The state House had passed it in early March by a vote of 70-22.

The new law restricts young people from being able to access puberty-blockers, a treatment option for transgender youth that is used to prevent the onset of puberty.

The law also bans cross-hormone therapy,​ a gender-affirming treatment that allows trans people to ​change their physical appearance making it more consistent with the gender identity.

Governor Hutchinson had vetoed the bill saying it a product of "cultural war in America." He said the bill would be a far government outreach.

At a news conference following the veto, he said the law would create “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”

“I’m hopeful that my action will cause conservative Republican legislators to think through the issue again, and hopefully come up with a more restrained approach that allows a study of the science and ethics surrounding the issue before acting,” Hutchinson said.

More than three dozen other states are considering bills that target transgender minors, either by banning them from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity or by restricting access to gender-affirming medical care.

Publish : 2021-04-07 11:08:00

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