Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that he has vetoed House Bill 1570, which would have banned gender affirming care to transgender youth. The news arrives just a week after the Arkansas Senate approved legislation restricting doctors from providing gender reassignment surgeries and hormone supplements to minors in the state.
“If House Bill 1570 becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people,” the governor said in a Monday news conference.
“This is a government overreach. You are starting to let lawmakers interfere with healthcare and set a standard for legislation overriding healthcare,” Hutchinson added. “The state should not presume to jump into every ethical health decision.”
Republicans have already begun criticizing the governor’s decision, with Arkansas Family Council President Jerry Cox calling on the Arkansas Legislature to override Hutchinson’s veto with a majority vote.
“The Arkansas Legislature needs to step up and override the governor’s veto to make sure this good bill becomes law, Cox wrote in a statement. “Gender reassignment surgeries can leave children sterilized and scarred for life. Medical researchers do not know the long-term effects these procedures can have on kids. That is why many people equate them with experimenting on children. Arkansas must protect its children from these sex-reassignment procedures.”
Meanwhile, Arkansas-based organization inTRANSitive, which spearheaded a campaign in an effort to urge the Arkansas Governor to veto HB1570, took to Facebook to implore followers to keep the heat on Arkansas lawmakers. “The fight is not over yet!” the group said in a post. “The Senate and House will vote as soon as tomorrow to override the veto! Let’s make sure they all hear from us! Keep the pressure!”