Arkansas state lawmakers enacted a ban on chemical and surgical sex change treatments and surgeries for transgender youth in the state on Tuesday, overriding a previous veto from Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The Legislature, which sports a GOP majority in both houses, moved forward with the bill that prohibits medical professionals from providing treatment to transgender children and teenagers, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex-change surgery. Doctors could be sued or lose their medical licenses if they’re found to have violated the ban.
Hutchinson vetoed the measure on Monday after he called the legislation “over-broad, extreme,” and an example of “vast government overreach.”
The governor added that it 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. It is undisputed that the population of minors who struggle with gender incongruity or gender dysphoria is an extreme minority, but while they are a minority, they deserve the guiding hand of their parents and of the healthcare professionals that their family has chosen.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which reviles the new law, vowed to bring legal action against the state.
“Today Arkansas legislators disregarded widespread, overwhelming, and bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth,” the group wrote in a statement shortly after the vote was announced. “As Governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences. This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over — and we’re in it for the long haul. Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court.”
Proponents of the legislation argue that children and young teenagers should not be in the position to make irreversible decisions they could grow to regret, while some reject it for being discriminatory. There are 16 other states considering more than 20 pieces of legislation that would in some way prohibit transgender youths from receiving unfettered healthcare.
Author : Jake Dima
Source : Washington Examiner : Arkansas lawmakers override governor and enact ban on sex-change surgery, treatment for children