Transition care for transgender minors will be outlawed in Arkansas after the state senate voted on Tuesday to override Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of HB1570, a move that sparked immediate vows for legal retaliation from civil rights groups.
The bill, which effectively bans medical workers from providing hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming surgeries to trans youth, went into law after the senate successfully overrode the governor’s objections this week.
It’s the first law of its kind in the United States, a clear reflection of the anti-trans movement sweeping through conservative media outlets and states across the country.
Republican-led legislatures have sought to restrict transgender athletes from participating in school sports, denying funding to entities providing medical services for transgender patients and more in recent months, even as Republicans like Mr Hutchinson describe such measures as “extreme”.
Advocates and coalitions of human rights groups have rebuked the Arkansas bill, otherwise called the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE)” Act, and others like it, while noting the tangible impact such measures have on trans youth. A growing pool of scientific research has shown trans youth who receive access to transitionary care are less likely to self-harm or have thoughts of suicide.
Trans youth who do not receive transitional care are also more likely to report cases of depression compared to children under the age of 15 who are provided gender-affirming medical services like hormone blockers.
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