Governor Asa Hutchinson told reporters that he killed HB 1570 because the bill “will and is a huge scope for the government” and because it will set new standards for legislative interventions for doctors and parents , Because they deal with some of the most complex problems. And sensitive issues involving young people. ”
The governor called the legislation “a product of the American Culture War” and added that although he thought the bill was “intentional,” his veto power was passed.
CNN has contacted the initiator of the bill to seek the governor’s veto power.
The bill was called the Arkansas “Saving Youth in Experiments”
; (SAFE) bill, which passed the Senate by a vote of 28 to 7 at the end of last month. The state legislature was passed by a vote of 70 to 22 in early March. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, if the governor approves the bill, Arkansas will become the country’s first state to provide gender-affirming health services for transgender youth.
The bill stipulates so-called “exceptions” for certain bisexuals with ambiguous gender characteristics, as well as bisexuals who have previously had difficulties due to gender confirmation treatment. It will also ban so-called “trans-hormonal” therapy, which is a gender-confirming therapy that allows transgender people to change their appearance to make them more in line with their gender identity.
Hutchinson’s move came at a time when Republican politicians across the country pushed for anti-transgender legislation, and appeared to run counter to the governor’s public position on this issue in recent weeks, as he approved another bill last month banning Transgender girls and women go to school. Sports that match their gender identity, and another bill that allows healthcare workers to refuse non-emergency procedures that violate their religious or moral beliefs.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, LGBTQ and medical advocates have actively lobbied against HB 1570. They worry that this may have a significant negative impact on trans young people, who are at a much higher risk of suicide. A study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 found that if they can use puberty blockers, their chances of suicide and mental health problems in the short term and in the future will be greatly reduced.
The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, said that the governor’s decision “is a huge victory for transgender and non-binary young people in Arkansas.”
The organization’s vice president of advocacy and government affairs, Sam Blington, said: “We hope that this action will send a message to other parliamentarians across the country and consider adopting a similar ban on gender confirmation medical treatment, which will only harm young transgender people. life.”
This story has been updated with other information.
CNN’s Lauren Holt contributed to this report.