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Arkansas Senate approves ban on treatments for transgender youth

Public Records Arkansas
Posted at 11:15 AM, Mar 30, 2021

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Senate has approved a bill banning gender confirming treatments for minors.

The Senate on Monday voted 28-7 in favor of the restriction on transgender youth, sending the measure to the governor’s desk.

The bill would prohibit doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment or surgery to minors. If signed, opponents say it would be the first prohibition of its kind in the country.

The measure has drawn criticism from medical and child welfare groups who say it would further marginalize trans youth.

It comes as other bills targeting transgender people have advanced in Arkansas and other states.

Last week, the state’s governor, Asa Hutchinson, signed a measure into law that allows doctors to refuse to treat someone because of moral or religious objections.

That legislation was signed into law Friday despite objections that it would give medical providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others.

The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience.

That new law won’t take effect until late this summer.