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Arkansas becomes first state to pass bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to trans youth

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 30 Mar 2021

<p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/60624f4e67187800184ad335-2400/trans%20supreme%20court.JPG" border="0" alt="trans supreme court.JPG" data-mce-source="REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Arkansas became the <a href="https://twitter.com/schmidtsam7/status/1376649528699420679">first state</a> to pass a bill prohibiting doctors from providing gender-affirming medical care to transgender youth following a vote in the state Senate on Monday.</p><p><a href="https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Detail'id=HB1570&amp;ddBienniumSession=2021%2F2021R&amp;Search=">HB 1570</a>, the "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act," prohibits trans youth from accessing health care and insurance coverage for gender-affirming care. The bill passed 28-7 in the state Senate. The state House passed the bill earlier this month.</p><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en" data-cards="" data-conversation=""><p lang="en" dir="ltr">BREAKING: Arkansas has become the first state to ban health care for trans youth.</p> ACLU (@ACLU) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1376649057775587332'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 29, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>The bill would prohibit doctors from offering gender confirming horomone treatment or surgery to trans youth. Doctors would also be unable to refer minors to other providers for treatment.</p><p>The legislation now goes to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk for signature. He has not publicly said whether he supports the legislation. The governor has five days, not including Sunday, to sign or veto the bill before it becomes law.</p><p>If signed, the bill would take effect this summer.</p><p>Opponents say if the legislation is enacted, it would be the first prohibition of its kind in the US. LGBTQ advocacy groups, child welfare organizations, and medical professionals have criticized the legislation.</p><p>Medical best practice guidelines from <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/102/11/3869/4157558" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="20">the Endocrine Society</a>,<a href="https://childmind.org/guide/guide-to-gender-dysphoria/treatment/" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="20">Child Mind Institute</a>, and<a href="https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/transgender.pdf" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="20">American Psychological Association</a> all recommend that states provide gender-affirming care for trans children. If Hutchinson signs the bill, Arkansas will became the first state to criminalize the vital health services.</p><p>Studies have shown children who are unable to<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26835611/" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="20">access gender-affirming care</a> experience higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide than trans youth with supportive doctors and families. A <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/146/4/e20193600">2020 study published in Pediatrics</a> found the earlier transgender youth get care, the less likely they are to suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts.</p><p>Getting<a href="https://www.insider.com/trans-people-cancelling-gender-affirming-surgeries-because-of-covid-19-2020-3" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="40">gender-affirming care</a>before puberty can slow or stop some of the changes that are more difficult to reverse like voice deepening, hair growth, and fat distribution.</p><p>Arkansas's HB1570 comes amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures across the country this year. <a href="https://www.insider.com/over-half-of-us-states-tried-passing-anti-trans-bills-2021-3">Insider previously reported</a> that 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation in 2021.</p><p>Arkansas has also proposed two bills that would prevent trans youth from participating in school sports: <a href="https://www.billtrack50.com/billdetail/1325777" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="40">SB354</a>and<a href="https://www.billtrack50.com/billdetail/1310556" data-analytics-module="body_link" data-analytics-post-depth="40">SJR16</a></p><p><em>This story is breaking. Check back for updates.</em></p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/arkansas-becomes-first-state-to-ban-healthcare-for-trans-youth-2021-3#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-make-beer-with-picobrew-c-home-brew-2020-3">We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button</a></p>
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