LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday vetoed legislation that would have made his state the first to ban gender confirming treatments or surgery for transgender youth.
The Republican governor rejected legislation that would have prohibited doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
“If (the bill) 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,” Hutchinson said at a news conference.
The Republican Legislature could still enact the measure, since it only takes a simple majority of the House and Senate to override a governor’s veto in Arkansas. Hutchinson said he believed an override was likely.
Hutchinson’s veto follow pleas from pediatricians, social workers and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide. Hutchinson said he met with doctors and transgender people as he considered whether to sign the measure.
He said he would have signed the bill if it had just focused on gender confirming surgery, which …read more