World Arkansas' Asa Hutchinson Urges 'Conservative Compassionate View' Toward Transgender Minors
Arkansas governor vetoes bill banning gender treatment for youths
Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed controversial legislation Monday that would have banned gender-confirming treatments for transgender youth and has made the state a front in what he called "the cultural war in America." Hutchinson, a conservative Republican, said the bill represented overreach by the state into the private affairs of transgender children, their parents and doctors. "If House Bill 1570 becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people," he said.
Arkansas' Governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, called for a "conservative compassionate view" toward transgender minors—saying "hundreds" of concerned families have reached out after his state's legislature overrodethat blocked transgender teenagers from receiving gender-affirming treatment.
Hutchinson's veto of the Arkansaslast week came as a surprise to many activists and lawmakers. But the conservative governor described the legislation as "a vast government overreach," noting that he vetoed the bill after discussing the issue directly with medical providers, parents and transgender minors receiving treatment.
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However, the GOP-controlled state legislature promptly overrode Hutchinson's veto, making Arkansas the first state to ban gender-reaffirming treatment.
"This bill was overbroad. It was extreme, and that's the reason I vetoed it and even most importantly it didn't have a grandfather clause. So there are some young people that are actually undergoing treatment under the supervision of their doctor and with the permission of the parent and we're interfering in that. And they're going to be winding up going out of state if they can afford it or they're going to try to get it elsewhere because it puts them in great jeopardy. I hope the legislature will look at remedying that, but it's a great concern to me," Hutchinson reiterated during a Wednesday morning interview with.
Arkansas Becomes First State to Ban Health-Care for Transgender Youth
Arkansas has become the first state in America to ban the provision of gender affirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth. The state’s legislature voted Tuesday to override Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto yesterday of House Bill 1570, which bans transition care for trans minors, prohibiting doctors from providing gender affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment. Opponents of HB 1570, including the ACLU, have already said they will challenge the bill in the courts, before it becomes law this summer.
Hutchinson said that "hundreds" of parents of transgender minors have already reached out to him, noting that physicians are "concerned" as well.
"I regret that that happened," he said, voicing his hope that "there is some movement for putting into place a grandfather clause. I hope that that can happen for the sake of these young people."
"Passing laws is about policy, it's also about compassion," Hutchinson asserted. "I think it's a conservative compassionate view that we let these decisions be made by those people that know and love the children the best."
The Republican governor explained his views in an opinion article published by The Washington Post last week, calling for "compassion".
"Leadership is acting not just on your convictions but also on your compassion. Parents are doing their best to guide the young person God entrusted to them. As they seek medical help, it is important to understand the trauma, emotional challenge and love involved in making difficult decisions. The leading Arkansas medical associations, the American Academy of Pediatrics and medical experts across the country all oppose this law. Their concern is that denying best practice medical care to transgender youth can lead to significant harm to the young person — from suicidal tendencies and social isolation to increased drug use. Given these risks, we have to ask whether the state action helps or unjustifiably interferes," he wrote.
Some transgender youth treatments banned in Arkansas
It is the first state in the US to outlaw certain types of treatments, drawing ire from rights groups and big business.The law threatens any healthcare professional who provides puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones or gender-affirming surgery to minors with the loss of their medical licence and opens them up to lawsuits from patients who later regret their procedures.
Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, strongly criticized the legislation that has been enacted in Arkansas.
"This is truly a phenomenal level of government overreach." Heng-Lehtinen said, according to USA Today. The activist warned that "every single transgender person is feeling the effect of this attack. It's the government, pure and simple, saying, 'You don't belong.' It's such an antagonistic and heartless message to send."
About 30 states are considering similar anti-trans legislation, leading activists and LGBTQ advocates to raise alarms.
Newsweek reached out to Hutchinson's press office for further comment.
The GOP’s War on Trans Kids .
The recent wave of anti-trans legislation follows a decades-long pattern of Republicans targeting groups they think lack the numbers or votes to properly fight back.“Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus,” Ambinder wrote. He added that Mehlman “often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called ‘the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now.