Lambda Legal Condemns Arkansas Legislature Overriding Veto of Youth Medical Care Ban

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April 7, 2021

Yesterday, lawmakers in the Arkansas Legislature voted to override Governor Asa Hutchinson’s veto of House Bill 1570. The law bans access to gender-affirming health care for transgender youth by criminalizing health care providers who prescribe puberty-delaying medication and hormone therapy. Arkansas is the first state to pass a transgender medical care ban targeting children and young people. Lawmakers in several other states are considering similar bills.

Lambda Legal South Central Regional Director Avery Belyeu issued the following statement:

“Overriding the veto of HB 1570 was wrong for Arkansas, wrong for transgender youth, and wrong for the medical and mental health professionals entrusted with their care. Transgender youth are already vulnerable and at increased risk of depression, self-harm and suicide because of lack of support and lack of access to gender-affirming health care. To think that lawmakers in Arkansas know this and still forced this bill into becoming law is unconscionable.

“Even before it even went into effect, this law had already caused considerable damage and continues to do so for trans youth in Arkansas. I want transgender youth who see what is happening in legislatures throughout the country to know that they are not alone. They are loved, they belong, and their identities are valid. They should also know that there is an entire army of advocates who will fight tirelessly for them until this injustice is corrected."

If you are in crisis or just need support please contact The Trevor Project 866-488-7386 or Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860.