Arkansas bans transgender treatment for youth despite veto

Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 April 2021 (16:45 IST)
lawmakers enacted a on gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth on Tuesday, making it the first state to take this step.

The bill prevents medics from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under the age of 18. The measure also prevents doctors from referring them to other providers for the hormone treatment. It had been vetoed by Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson but the Republican-controlled House and Senate voted to override his objection.
 
The override passed comfortably in both chambers, with the House voting 72-25 in favor and the Senate 25-8.
 
The ban is set to go into effect later this year, but opponents of the move have vowed to sue against it.
 
Why was the bill vetoed?
 
On Monday, Hutchinson vetoed the proposal after pediatricians, social workers and the parents of transgender youth said the action would harm a community already vulnerable to depression and suicide. Hutchinson slammed the bill as a “a vast government overreach.”
 
Nevertheless, the Republican governor has recently signed legislation forbidding transgender women and girls from competing on teams consistent with their gender identity, a ban that has also been enacted in Tennessee and Mississippi this year.