Arkansas Governor Can Stop Dangerous Attack on Health Care for Trans Youth | National Center for Transgender Equality

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Arkansas Governor Can Stop Dangerous Attack on Health Care for Trans Youth

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NCTE today calls on Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to veto HB 1570, which is one of the most extreme anti-trans pieces of legislation in the country.

HB 1570 would put transgender kids at risk by creating significant barriers to medically necessary and appropriate health care. Doctors could also be punished for providing health care to trans youth.

“Arkansas is putting transgender young people at risk. They would deny them live-saving, appropriate health care not because it’s good public policy but because politicians believe that it will bring them more power,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality. “We are asking Gov. Hutchinson to do the right thing and to reject this hateful, dangerous and discriminatory bill.” 

Unless Hutchinson vetoes the bill, Arkansas would become the first state to ban gender-affirming health care for trans youth.

“Transgender youth deserve the support of their family, friends, community and medical professionals. Instead, they are being targeted, bullied and discriminated against,” Heng-Lehtinen said. “All children deserve to have access to the support and health care they need to live happy and healthy lives. To deny tens of thousands of kids health care while claiming you are ‘protecting’ all kids is painfully ironic. The pain of that irony will be felt by the kids this bill deems unworthy of the protection it claims to offer.”

The action in Arkansas is part of a national, coordinated attempt in at least 26 states to pass laws targeting transgender young people and students.

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