Arkansas Governor Vetoes Anti-Trans Bill That Would Have Limited Health Care For Minors

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) says he will veto HB1570, a harmful anti-transgender bill that would prohibit doctors from providing medically necessary treatment to trans kids.

In a media appearance Monday, Hutchinson said concern about government overreach influenced his decision.

“House Bill 1570 would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients and health care experts,” he said. “While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human and ethical issue.

“This would be, and is, a vast government overreach,” he added.

The bill would have prohibited doctors from providing minors with treatments including puberty blockers, hormone therapies or any other transition procedures. Physicians who nonetheless did so could have seen their medical licenses revoked.

The Arkansas Senate voted 28-7 last week in favor of the bill, which was called the Arkansas Save Adolescents From Experimentation, or SAFE, Act.

Hutchinson characterized the lawmakers’ efforts as “well intended” yet nevertheless “off course” and expressed concerns about how the bill would harm the mental health of transgender youth, perhaps leading to an increase in suicide, social isolation and drug abuse.

Hutchinson added that while the number of people who would be affected is “an extreme minority,” they nevertheless “deserve the guiding hand of their parents and of the health care professionals that their family has chosen.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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