LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of Arkansas’ ban on gender-confirming treatment for transgender youth on Wednesday while a lawsuit challenging the ban continues.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in May asking U.S. District Judge Jay Moody in Little Rock to overturn the law that made Arkansas the first state to ban doctors from providing sex-confirming hormone therapy , puberty blockers, or sex reassignment surgery for anyone under the age of 18. years, or to refer them to other providers for such treatment. The ACLU sought the preliminary injunction while its trial continued.
“Withdrawing this care halfway from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm,” Moody said.
The law was due to come into force on July 28.
The ACLU has filed a complaint on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender-confirming treatment. The lawsuit argues that the ban would seriously undermine the state’s transgender youth and violate their constitutional rights.
“This move sends a clear message to states across the country that gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and we will not let politicians in Arkansas – or for that matter – take it away,” he said. said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU. of Arkansas.
The Republican-dominated Arkansas legislature overturned GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto on the measure. Hutchinson vetoed the ban following calls from pediatricians, social workers and parents of transgender youth who said it would harm a community already at risk of depression and suicide.