Arkansas bans treatments in trans youth, overruling Asa Hutchinson's veto
- The legislation will ban gender confirming treatments to transgender youth
- Doctors will even be prohibited from referring to other other treatment providers
- Arkansas Republican-controlled General Asembly voted Tuesday
In a first, the US state of Arkansas implemented a law to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming treatment or surgeries for transgender people under age 18, US media reported.
The state's Republican-controlled House voted Tuesday to overrule Republican governor Asa Hutchinson's veto of the anti-trans bill, which termed as a "vast government overreach," followed by the Senate.
The action was swiftly denounced by LGBTQ advocates, who vowed to mount a legal challenge against the law.
The Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act passed the state Senate late last month by a vote of 28-7. The state House had passed it in early March by a vote of 70-22.
Following which activists, doctors, parents of transgender youth got on the streets to plea against the passing of the bill and argued that the measure would harm the trans community that is already at risk for depression and suicide.
The legislation will prohibit doctors from providing gender confirming cross-hormone treatment, surgery or puberty blockers to anyone under 18 years of age, or even from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
The bill makes what it calls an "exception" for some intersex people with unspecified chromosomal makeup and hormone production, and those with difficulties resulting from previous gender-affirming treatments.
Recently, Hutchinson also signed a measure allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone citing moral or religious objections, a law that critics have said could be largely used to turn away LGBTQ patients.