Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday voted to override Governor Hutchinson’s veto of HB 1570 to become the only state to criminalize pediatricians who give transgender youth life-saving healthcare.
This action puts at severe risk hundreds of Arkansas minors who’s family’ previously obtain puberty blockers from licenced state pharmacies. They will now have to search the internet for online pharmacies or travel out of state to obtain their medications.
While some of those online sources vet their pharmacies most don’t. Transgender people in southern states have historically utilized these healthcare resources as a last resort when they lose a doctor in rural areas. But this is the first time an entire state has been put into such desperate straights because of the willful ignorance of vindictive lawmakers.
The legislator’s actions tell transgender children that they don’t care how they get their medications.
The legislator’s actions exponentially increased transgender people’s feelings of isolation and suicidal ideation because they are now suddenly cut off their hormones or puberty blockers.
They refused to listen to the entire medical community which came out in the 100s of thousands to voice their opposition to HB 1570 or any law that puts politic’s over the lives of their constituents.
The only people who will celebrate this out of all those rallying at the Statehouse Saturday are the uniformed confederate flag-waving white supremacists who stood in formation and fired their guns not fifty feet from the doctors and children.
Opponents of the measure have vowed to sue to block the ban before it takes effect this summer.
Hutchinson vetoed the bill following pleas from pediatricians, social workers, and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide.
Governor Hutchinson signed a religious and moral refusal law giving doctors the right to refuse to medically treat anyone, ironically including the children of Arkansas Republican state legislators.
These 31 major medical associations have joined in opposition to the healthcare rollbacks of the previous administration. But those measures don’t hold a candle in comparison to what Arkansas legislators did today.
American Academy of Nursing
American Academy of PAs
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Psychiatry and The Law
American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry
American College Health Association
American College of Physicians
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Medical Women’s Association
American Nurses Association
American Pediatric Surgical Association
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Association of American Medical Colleges
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Doctors for America
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
HIV Medicine Association
LBGT Physician Assistant Caucus
National Association of Social Workers
National Council for Behavioral Health
National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
Society of General Internal Medicine
Society of Physician Assistants in Pediatrics
The Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
United States Professional Association for Transgender Health
World Professional Association for Transgender Health
Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director, condemned their actions in this statement:
“Today Arkansas legislators disregarded widespread, overwhelming, and bipartisan opposition to this bill and continued their discriminatory crusade against trans youth. As Governor Hutchinson noted in his veto message, denying care to trans youth can lead to harmful and life-threatening consequences. This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over — and we’re in it for the long haul. Attempting to block trans youth from the care they need simply because of who they are is not only wrong, it’s also illegal, and we will be filing a lawsuit to challenge this law in court. We are hearing from concerned families all over the state who are afraid about the impact of this bill and others like it. We are committed to doing all we can to support these families and ensure they know how to continue to fight for their rights and get the care and resources they need.”
“No matter what these politicians do or say, one thing has not changed: trans youth are loved, they are seen, and we will never stop fighting to defend their dignity, their rights and their lives. To everyone who spoke out against this bill: now is the time to stay loud, not only for trans lives, but for all the fundamental rights that politicians are hellbent on attacking.”