Arkansas' governor vetoes the state's anti-trans bill that would have made treatment for trans youth a felony
- On Monday,
ArkansasGov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state's trans medical ban for minors.
- The law would stop doctors from providing
puberty blockersand hormone replacement therapyto minors.
- Advocates and doctors say the law would prohibit life-saving medical care.
- Hutchinson expects his veto will be overruled by a majority vote in both chambers of the state legislature.
The "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act," HB 1570, would have banned doctors from prescribing trans youth under the age of 18 puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy (
Hutchinson said he expects his decision to be overruled by a majority vote in both chambers of the Republican-majority state legislature, but wanted the people of Arkansas to know where he stood.
"The most recent action of the general assembly is off-course," Hutchinson said.
"The bill is overboard, extreme, and does not grandfather those young people who are currently under hormone treatment," he continued.
Hutchinson said the bill was too general to pass into effect because it did not specifically prohibit gender-affirming surgeries for minors, a type of procedure usually reserved until after a person's 18th birthday.
Advocates warned the law could be devastating for trans youth, as studies have shown the younger trans children have access to care, the less likely they are to develop depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations later in life.
Without access to this necessary care, organizations like the Trevor Project told Insider they predict it could cause a mental
"The consequences of this piece of legislation couldn't be more dire," Kate Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, previously told Insider.
The House and Senate of Arkansas' state legislature would have to have a majority vote against Hutchinson's veto in order to overturn it and pass the bill into effect. The bill would have to pass with an 18-17 majority in the Senate and a 51-49 majority in the House of Representatives. The SAFE Act initially passed through the House of Representatives with a 70-22 majority vote and the Senate with a 28-7 majority vote.
The law would have gone into effect summer 2021.
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