Arkansas Becomes First State To Prohibit Gender-Affirming Healthcare For Trans Minors

HB 1570 would prohibit physicians from providing hormones and puberty blockers for trans minors, a restriction which opponents say would adversely affect trans youth. 

The Arkansas General Assembly has voted to override the governor’s veto of HB 1570, making the state the first in the country to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming treatment to minors. 

On Monday, governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill, which he said was an example of “vast government overreach.” Both the state’s House and Senate voted Tuesday to override the veto; prior to yesterday’s veto, the bill had passed in both chambers of the State Assembly.

Arkansas is one of a number of states across the country that has proposed or passed legislation limiting trans rights. In early March, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) had tracked 82 total anti-trans bills in state legislatures across the country, the highest number of such bills ever recorded. 

HB 1570 would prohibit physicians from providing hormones and puberty blockers for trans minors, a restriction which opponents say would adversely affect trans youth. 

“Medical decisions belong to trans youth, their parents, and their doctor — not the government,” said ACLU Arkansas executive director Holly Dickson in a statement released on the organization’s website. “This bill flies in the face of common decency, basic human rights, and the advice of every major medical association — not to mention federal law. What could possibly be more cruel than trying to take away a child’s access to the care that could save their life?”

In a statement reported by CNN, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project Chase Strangio said that the ACLU “is preparing litigation as we speak.”


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