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Arkansas lawmakers overturn GOP governor’s veto on bill limiting transgender health care

Arkansas Republican-led legislature was quashed on Tuesday Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill limiting health care procedures for transgender youth, regardless of parental consent. Arkansas is now the first state in the country to have a law prohibiting gender-affirming treatment for people under the age of 18.

The move comes just a day after the Republican governor rejected the bill while acknowledging that state lawmakers would likely reject it. Arkansas House voted 71 to 24 to overturn Hutchinson’s veto, followed by a 25 to 8 vote in the Senate.

House Bill 1570, known as the Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, bans treatments such as surgery and hormone therapy for transgender minors. The ban extends to people who are already receiving these treatments. The Arkansas legislature approved the measure last month, following a wave of bills targeting transgender people adopted by Republican lawmakers nationwide.

Hutchinson recently signed bills prohibiting transgender athletes from participate in women’s sports and allow doctors to potentially refuse LGBT patients based on religious or moral objections. He said he drew the line on the last bill because it interfered with sensitive medical issues and failed to continue caring for transgender youth who are already in transition.

He called HB 1570 “wide-ranging government” and “a product of cultural warfare in America.”

The law will likely face immediate legal challenges that could prevent it from being enacted. Shortly after the vote, the Arkansas ACLU said in a statement it planned to sue.

“Attempting to prevent trans youth from receiving the care they need just because of who they are is not only wrong, it is also illegal, and we will take legal action to challenge this law in front of them. courts, ”said Executive Director Holly Dickson.


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