Arkansas Becomes First State to Ban Gender Reassignment Surgeries in Children

Posted 8 days ago


Arkansas on Tuesday became the first state to outlaw gender reassignment surgeries and hormone treatments for children under the age of 18, after Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed the measure.

The House voted 71-24 and Senate voted 25-8 on Tuesday to override his veto.

The bill, known as House Bill 1570—or Arkansas SAFE (Save Adolescents From Experimentation) Act—will go into law 90 days after the Arkansas General Assembly goes into recess on April. 30.

It would prohibit physicians and healthcare professionals from providing gender transition procedures to people under 18 years old, or referring the minors to other healthcare professionals for the procedures. Medical providers who violate the law could face disciplinary actions from the appropriate licensing entity or disciplinary review board.

“It is of grave concern to the General Assembly that the medical community is allowing individuals who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex to be subjects of irreversible and drastic nongenital gender reassignment surgery and irreversible, permanently sterilizing genital gender reassignment surgery, despite the lack of studies showing that the benefits of such extreme interventions outweigh the risks,” according to the text of the bill.

As he vetoed the bill this week, Hutchinson argued that signing the bill would be “government overreach,” saying that it would be “starting to let lawmakers interfere with healthcare and set a standard for legislation o... (Read more)