Arkansas Lawmakers Rebuff Gov. Hutchinson, Ban Transgender Treatment for Youth Below 18

Arkansas has become the first US state to enact a ban on gender-affirming treatments and surgeries for transgender youth. Arkansas lawmakers passed the 'Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act', a law that bans doctors from providing gender-affirming care to transgenders below the age of 18 years.

This bill physically prohibits transgender minors from getting access to hormone replacement therapy, puberty blockers and gender-affirming surgeries.

The state's governor, Asa Hutchinson, vetoed the transgender youth treatment ban bill on Monday following pleas from a group of social workers, pediatricians and guardians of transgender youth who said the law would harm the community which is already at a risk for depression and suicide.

The transgender treatment ban was opposed by several welfare groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled House and Senate voted to override Hutchinson's veto before it takes effect this summer.

The 'Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act' stated that Arkansas has a compelling government interest in protecting the health and safety of its citizens, especially vulnerable children. Only a small percentage of the American population experiences distress at identifying with their biological sex.

Asa Hutchinson
Asa Hutchinson at a press conference Twitter screen grab

Three Types of Treatment Ban For Transgender Youth

  • Puberty blockers
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Gender-affirming surgeries

Risks of cross-sex hormone Usage

According to the Bill, the use of cross-sex hormones comes with serious known risks for both biological females and males. Some of the consequences of using cross-sex hormones are as follows:

In Biological Females:

Erythrocytosis, which is an increase in red blood cells
Cerebrovascular disease, including strokes
Severe liver dysfunction
Coronary artery disease, including heart attacks
Increased risk of breast and uterine cancers

In Biological Males:

Thromboembolic disease, including blood clots
Coronary artery disease, including heart attack
Breast cancer
Irreversible infertility
Macroprolactinoma, which is a tumor of the pituitary gland

Transgender Athletes Banned From Competing In Girls Sports At Schools

At least 16 other states are also considering similar legislation, according to reports. In a similar case earlier, Mississippi governor Tate Reeves had signed the first anti-trans bill of 2021 into law banning transgender athletes from competing in girls sports at schools.

According to the law public High schools and institutions of higher education requires to designate their athletic teams according to biological sex. The law which came into effect in July calls for protecting schools that maintain separate sports teams from complaints. The supporter of the bill argued that transgender women have an unfair advantage over those born as females because they have different strength speed and endurance.