State Watch

Arkansas ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth headed to governor’s desk

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The Arkansas state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, which will next head to the desk of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The bill aims to ban transgender minors from accessing gender-affirming care, including reversible puberty blockers and hormones.

The bill defines gender transition procedures as medical or surgical services that assist the development of masculinizing or feminizing features in the opposite biological sex. 

Should Hutchinson sign the bill, Arkansas will become the first state to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, according to NBC News.

Chase Strangio, the deputy director for transgender justice at the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT & HIV Project, said the bill was “the single most extreme anti-trans law to ever pass through a state legislature,” according to NBC News.

Arkansas is not the only state advancing measures to restrict access to gender-affirming care.

The Alabama state Senate earlier this month advanced a bill that would make it a felony to supply resources like puberty blocking medication or hormones to trans minors. Lawmakers in Tennessee recently passed a measure that prohibits trans minors from using sexual identity change therapy, adding that violations by healthcare professionals are professional misconducts.

Governors in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have also already signed trans athlete bans into law, which prohibit trans youth from playing on school sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

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