A Republican governor in Arkansas vetoed a bill that banned gender-affirming medical care—therapy, puberty blockers and hormone therapy—for trans people under the age of 18, regardless of parental consent.
All trans youth healthcare approved by medical standards in the United States is nonsurgical and reversible.
The governor's veto might recognize facts, but is a major departure from the Republican party line.
GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson has vetoed a bill to criminalize gender-affirming care for trans kids in Arkansas — calling… https://t.co/JttZ4v3j8S— Axios (@Axios) 1617649090.0
Hutchinson told reporters the bill would set "new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people."
@chrisgeidner Watch Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) announce he has vetoed HB 1570, the bill that would restrict care fo… https://t.co/j149Of3a9K— The Recount (@The Recount) 1617646594.0
Hey .@AsaHutchinson, we don’t always agree but you did the right thing today. Thank you.— Will Watson (@Will Watson) 1617654209.0
Parents of trans children and those who don't align with Republican views expressed their gratitude to the governor.
As the parent of a transgender child in Arkansas, I thank you @AsaHutchinson . https://t.co/zF8oyzYnDv— KHive! Hillary told you all. 💛💛💛 🐝🐝 (@KHive! Hillary told you all. 💛💛💛 🐝🐝) 1617653552.0
Thank you @AsaHutchinson for your veto of #hb1570 denying gender affirming care for trans youth like my daughter. https://t.co/d5VrNfa0TR— Amanda Dennis (@Amanda Dennis) 1617647053.0
You have to applaud some political courage when you see it.Kudos to @AsaHutchinson for this veto.I am aware of the… https://t.co/rO94X30JJM— Jesse Gibson (@Jesse Gibson) 1617647300.0
Thank you Governor @AsaHutchinson for taking a stand. It’s the right thing to do even if it doesn’t change the outc… https://t.co/cqp9knoN7k— Dr. Chris Jones (@Dr. Chris Jones) 1617651771.0
I have not been a fan of @AsaHutchinson, but my opinion of him just took a sudden bounce! Good work, Governor Hutc… https://t.co/kndC8j9Row— Rocky Macy (@Rocky Macy) 1617647024.0
The bill was approved in the House and Senate last month. Arkansas would have been the first state to ban gender-affirming health care for trans minors.
Under the anti-trans bill, health care providers offering such services would be felons and could lose their license to practice.
Hutchinson may have killed the SAFE Act in his state, but he predicted the Republican-led legislature "will likely override" his veto since it only takes a simple majority to do so.
@MarkRuffalo @AsaHutchinson I’m pleasantly surprised by Governor Hutchinson’s veto. I’m sure he’ll take some politi… https://t.co/hGHUxqpXj8— LeoOnTheEdge (@LeoOnTheEdge) 1617679913.0
However, the GOP governor remained cautiously optimistic.
He told CNN:
"I am hopeful, though, that my action will cause conservative Republican legislators to think through the issue again and hopefully come up with a more restrained approach that allows a thoughtful study of the science and ethics surrounding the issue before acting."
@chrisgeidner He's right. The state should not be infringing upon a patient's rights to receive healthcare just bec… https://t.co/2MVijGWMoQ— helchose 🇺🇸 (@helchose 🇺🇸) 1617648350.0
It’s heartening to see a GOP governor actually doing the right thing & protecting the rights of trans & nonbinary y… https://t.co/ff5sXDYxO2— Misha Collins (@Misha Collins) 1617660524.0
LGBTQ and medical advocates have aggressively lobbied against HB 1570, arguing the bill could severely impact the well-being of trans youth since they are at higher risk of suicide.
The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth, praised Hutchinson for vetoing HB 1570, calling it "a huge victory for the transgender and nonbinary youth of Arkansas."
VICTORY! Arkansas Governor @AsaHutchinson vetoed the trans youth healthcare ban! Thank you to everyone who pushed t… https://t.co/ixOwuwARgU— National Center for Transgender Equality (@National Center for Transgender Equality) 1617649311.0
Sam Brinton, the group's vice president of advocacy and government affairs, said:
"We hope this action sends a message to other lawmakers across the country considering similar bans on gender-affirming medical care, which would only work to endanger young trans lives."
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2021 has been a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation.
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David commented on the surge of discriminatory and anti-transgender legislation.
He said in a statement:
"These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they're not being requested by constituents. Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate."