The Senate of Arkansaw approved a ban on gender-verifying treatment for minors on Monday and sent restrictions to transgender youth criticized by medical and child welfare groups to the governor.
Arkansas House Bill 1570 is heading to the governor’s desk, banning sex reassignment surgery and hormone prescriptions for people under the age of 18 in the state.
The bill passed 28-7 in the Senate on Monday. There are no provisions for young people currently in transition.
If the bill is passed, it will be the first ban of this kind in the country, opponents say. The bill prohibits doctors from providing minors with hormone therapy or surgery to confirm their gender, or to refer them to other health care providers for treatment.
“The bill aims to protect children in areas that are in great need of protection,” said Republican Senator Allan Clarke, who sponsors the bill, before voting.
However, parents of pediatricians, social workers and transgender youth have said they will have a negative impact on communities already vulnerable to depression and suicide.
Joanna Brandt of Arkansas, the mother of a transgender boy, said in a pre-voting press conference, “Denying access to gender affirming health care means denying the right to be themselves. “. To stop his hormone therapy. “
The American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association have publicly opposed the bill. The American Academy of Pediatrics also opposed the bill.
During the session, Clark said that according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology, 90% of young adults who experienced gender dysphoria identified how they were ultimately assigned at birth. He also pointed out that counseling and treatment for young people experiencing gender dysphoria was not prohibited by the bill and even urged young people and their families to look for these services.
Before speaking in favor of the bill, Clark had his heart Children and adolescents and their families experiencing gender dysphoria.
“Such a bill has already been withdrawn by the federal government under the Article 14 amendment,” Senator Clark Tucker argued before the bill was passed.
Republican governor Asa Hutchinson has not said whether he would support the bill. A spokeswoman said he would consider the bill more closely and listen to its debate, but did not say when to make a decision. He has five days to sign or reject the bill after it arrives at his desk and before it becomes law without his signature, except Sunday.
Hutchinson has already signed Senate Bill 289The legislative assembly, which will ban transgender girls from playing men’s sports at schools in Arkansas, has been legislated.
On Friday, he signed a law allowing doctors to refuse to treat anyone because of religious or moral opposition.
The Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ rights group, aired a television ad in Arkansas over the weekend criticizing measures aimed at transgender youth.
“Despite the economic devastation that the pandemic has brought to the state, Arkansas’ prioritization of unpopular and discriminatory bills such as (no treatment) during this session is more than they actually help Arkansas. Has also shown priority to atrocities against children, “group President Alfonso David said in a statement.
A similar ban on transgender treatment is being considered by Alabama and Tennessee lawmakers.
Opponents of the bill include the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Lee Beards, the group’s president, called the measure “discrimination by law” and said it would politicize health care.
The American Civil Liberties Union said it would take legal action to prevent a ban on treatment if it signed the law. If signed, the ban will come into effect later this summer.
Contributed by The Associated Press.
This article was originally published on Fort Smith Times Records: Arkansas Goes Bill Ban Treatment For Transgender Youth