FACTS

    A piece of legislation is headed to the desk of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, which, if signed into law, would “prohibit doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment or surgery to minors, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.” Those in violation of the law could lose their medical license. The bill, the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, has already passed through the Senate with a 28-7 vote.

    LEFT

    The Left condemns the bill, arguing is harms the trans community. A headline by Cosmopolitan magazine read, “Arkansas Republicans have declared war on trans kids with despicable anti-trans bill.” Left-leaning media company Fatherly argued that the bill is “not backed by medical science and will lead to transgender children suffering needlessly.” Chase Strangio, the Deputy Director for Transgender Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), called this and other similar bills “catastrophic.”

    “Denying [transgender youth] access to gender affirming health care is denying them the right to be themselves. My son will be devastated if he is forced to stop his hormone treatment.”

    Joanna Brand, mother of a trans child

    An article for progressive magazine Mother Jones argued that the bill will affect already high suicide rates amongst trans minors and stated, “Arkansas just banned lifesaving care for trans kids.” The official ACLU page went a step further, stating that Arkansas is the “first state to ban health care for trans youth.”

    RIGHT

    The Right supports the bill, arguing that it protects “children in an area where they very much need protection.” “That such treatments are inappropriate for children should be a simple point of agreement throughout society. Regrettably, it isn’t…The ACLU and transgender activists need to stop making children’s health a political football. Between Arkansas and the ACLU, only one is treating this issue with the gravity it deserves,” stated Washington Examiner commentary fellow Zachary Faria. Sen. Alan Clark (R-AR) noted during a hearing for the bill that 90% of those with gender dysphoria eventually end up identifying with the sex that they were assigned at birth.

    “The psychological aspect of the treatment of gender dysphoria needs to be thoroughly investigated and debated…the most authoritative studies of those people with gender dysphoria who have gone through surgical intervention show that there is an increase in the level of suicidal ideation after going through surgeries.”

    Emilie Kao, director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation
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