Arkansas Governor Vetoes Ban On Gender-Affirming Care For Trans Youth : NPR

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Asa Hutchinson

Asa Hutchinson, governor of Arkansas, pictured in 2019, on Monday said the bill on treating transgender youth would set “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas

Asa Hutchinson, governor of Arkansas, pictured in 2019, on Monday said the bill on treating transgender youth would set “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”

Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arkansas’ governor on Monday vetoed a bill that would have made the state the first to ban gender-affirming medical care or surgery for transgender minors even with parent consent.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, called the Save Adolescents from Experimentation, or SAFE Act, “a vast government overreach.”

He told reporters that it would set “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”

The bill, approved in the House and Senate last month, would bar transgender youth from obtaining gender transition care, including puberty blockers and hormone therapy. It also would prohibit medical providers from making referrals to other health care professionals for gender transition procedures for those under 18.

Health care providers who offer such care could lose their license to practice in the state or make them vulnerable to civil litigation.

The move by Hutchinson bucks a growing legislative movement at the state level targeting transgender people. Legislative bodies in Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina have all passed anti-transgender medical care bans since the start of 2021, the Human Rights Campaign reported. And several others, including Arkansas, have passed laws banning transgender athletes from competing on sports teams matching their gender identity.

But, Hutchinson’s veto may not be the end of the SAFE Act. The Republican-led Legislature could still enact the measure since it only takes a simple majority to override the veto.



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