Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill Monday that would make Arkansas the first state to restrict gender confirmation medical services (such as puberty blockers) for transgender minors.
Republican Hutchinson called the bill “widespread government influence” and said in a press conference that the law will “legislately interfere with doctors and parents’ new standards because doctors and parents deal with some of the most complex issues involving young people.” And sensitive issues”. “
The Republican-controlled Arkansas Senate passed the bill last week, and Hutchinson said he hopes that the General Assembly “is possible”
Hutchinson said: “I hope that my actions will make conservative Republican legislators reconsider this issue, and hope to propose a more restrained approach to study the scientific and ethical concepts surrounding the issue before taking action.”
More than three other states are considering bills for transgender minors, either banning them from participating in school sports team matches that match their gender identity, or restricting access to gender-confirmed medical services.
Hutchinson and the governors of two other states (Mississippi and Tennessee) have signed the ban on transgender athletes into law.
Hutchinson said at a press conference that the major medical associations in Arkansas opposed the bill to restrict gender-affirming care and denied that care for transgender youths could cause major harm to young people “from suicidal tendencies and social isolation to increased drug use.” “
The governor said that although transgender people in the state are in the minority, “they should be guided by a healthcare professional chosen by their parents and family members.” He also added that Arkansas does not perform gender-confirming surgery for people under the age of 18. .
Supporters of the bill say they want to “protect” young people from “experimental” medical services, although medical experts point out that puberty blockers have long been used to treat premature puberty.
Advocates say Hutchinson’s veto is a victory for transgender and non-binary youth in Arkansas.
“Thanks to Governor Hutchinson for doing the right thing by rejecting this dangerous bill-the Arkansas State Legislature should imitate his leadership, recognize the mental health risks of the bill, and allow the veto to be established,” said Sam, who uses gender-neutral pronouns. Brinton (Sam Brinton) said. He is also the vice president of advocacy and government affairs for the Trevor project, which aims to prevent youth suicide.
Brinton said they hope the governor’s actions “to send a message to other lawmakers across the country because they are considering a similar ban on gender-affirming medical treatment, which will only endanger young transgender people.”
Blington said: “Although they do this, we also urge Arkansas to reconsider the misleading ban on transgender student athletes.”
Hutchinson said he believes that the suspension of transgender athletes and the restrictions on gender-affirming care are “other issues.”
The Alabama Senate approved similar restrictions on gender recognition, although Chase Strangio, deputy director of the Transgender Justice Department of the LGBT and HIV Program of the American Civil Liberties Union, said this is more extreme than the Arkansas bill because it includes medical treatment. Professional felony punishment. A person who provides gender confirmation care to minors.
Strangio said that the American Civil Liberties Union will sue any state that passes transgender athletes bans or restricts gender-recognized care, although he said he fears that the lawsuit may be concluded in the Supreme Court.
“People rely too much on the court system to prevent these things from taking effect. When we start to see more information from this new Supreme Court, I think we might really feel a rude awakening,” Strangio said of the court. Say. Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, nominated by Trump, have conservative majority.
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