Arkansas’ Republican governor just vetoed the state’s anti-trans heath care bill.
The bill that would’ve prohibited physicians in the state from providing gender-affirming “procedures” for trans people under age 18.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters that he killed the bill because
“would be and is a vast government overreach”
and because it would’ve created “new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people.”
The governor called the legislation
“a product of the cultural war in America.”
The bill, called the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, passed the state Senate late last month by a vote of 28-7. The state House passed it in early March by a vote of 70-22. Had the governor approved it, Arkansas would’ve been the first state in the nation to outlaw gender-affirming health care for trans youth, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, said the governor’s decision
“is a huge victory for the transgender and nonbinary youth of Arkansas.”
Sam Brinton, the group’s vice president of advocacy and government affairs said,
“We hope this action sends a message to other lawmakers across the country considering similar bans on gender-affirming medical care, which would only work to endanger young trans lives.”