Arkansas Senate bans treatment for OK transgender youth

Arkansas Senate bans treatment for OK transgender youth

ARKANSAS (US): The Arkansas Senate approved a ban on gender confirming treatment for minors, with the governor banning transgender youth who have been criticized by medical and child welfare groups. The majority Republican Senate voted 28-7 in favor of the legislation on Monday.
If the bill comes into force, it will be the first prohibition of its kind in the country.
The bill would prohibit doctors from providing genders confirming hormone treatment or surgery to minors, or referring other providers for treatment.
Republican Senator Alan Clarke, a sponsor of the measure, said before the vote, “The bill is for the protection of children in an area where they are in great need of protection.”
But pediatricians, social workers and parents of transgender youth have said that it will have an adverse effect on the community already vulnerable to depression and suicide.
Arkansas mother of transgender boy Joanna Brandt said in a press conference before the vote, “Denying them access to health care affirming gender is depriving them of their right to themselves.” “My son will be devastated when he is forced to stop his hormone treatment.”
Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson has not said whether he supports the measure. He has five days, not counting Sundays, when he arrives at his desk to sign or veto legislation to sign the bill, which becomes law without his signature.
The measure is among several targeted transgender people who have advanced to Arkansas and other states this year. Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have taken measures to prevent transgender girls and women from competing in school sports teams tailored to their gender identity.
Hutchinson signed a law on Friday that would allow doctors to refuse to treat anyone because of religious or moral objections, a move that opponents say could be used to drive away LGBTQ patients .
The nation’s largest LGBTQ rights group, Human Rights Campaign, ran a TV ad in Arkansas over the weekend, criticizing measures targeting the youth.
“For Arkansas to prioritize unpopular, discriminatory bills (such as treatment restrictions) during this legislative session, despite the economic catastrophe in the state, indicating that they actually prioritize cruelty over children helping Arkansas.” , “Alphonse David, group president of the group, said in a statement.
Similar transgender treatment prohibitions are being considered by lawmakers in Alabama and Tennessee.
Opponents of the bill include the American Academy of Pediatrics. The chairman of the group, Drs. Lee Beers called the measure “discriminatory by law” and said it would politicize medical care.
The American Civil Liberties Union said it plans to take legal action to stop the treatment ban if it is signed into law. If signed, the ban would have come into force this summer.

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