Arkansas Bans Transgender Medical Treatments for Youths

Arkansas became the first state to pass a law prohibiting doctors from giving sex-affirming medical treatments to transgender youth, CNN reported.

Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill on Monday, calling it “a product of America’s cultural war.” But on Tuesday, State House and the Senate voted to overturn the veto, making it state law, CNN reported.

At least 17 other states are considering similar legislation, but the Arkansas bill was the first to reach the governor’s office, the Washington post reported.

The bill prohibits doctors from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone therapy, or genital-altering surgeries to anyone under the age of 18. It is even forbidden to recommend a young person for such treatment to another doctor.

The General Assembly is gravely concerned that the medical community is allowing people in distress to identify with their biological sex to undergo irreversible and drastic non-genital sex reassignment surgery and ” irreversible and permanently sterilizing genital conversion surgery, despite the absence. studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks, ”says the text of the bill.

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Hutchinson, a Republican, called the measure “wide-ranging government” when he announced his veto on Monday.

“The bill is too broad, extreme and does not allow young people who are currently on hormone treatment to become grandfathered,” Hutchinson said. “Young people who are currently in the care of a doctor will be without treatment when this law comes into force. This means they will turn to the black market or go out of state … to find the treatment they want and need. This is not the right way to go. “

Many medical groups oppose this type of legislation. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry says it “strongly opposes any effort – legal, legislative and otherwise – to block access to these recognized interventions.”

Chase Strangio, deputy director of transgender justice for the ACLU’s LGBTQ and HIV project, praised Hutchinson for his veto on Monday. On Tuesday, he said the ACLU was preparing to challenge the bill in court, CNN said.

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