Physicians with The Arkansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics led a rally at the state Capitol Saturday urgently requesting that Governor Asa Hutchinson Veto HB 1570. The Governor has until Monday to decide what to do.

Fox News coverage of the event didn’t show a single physician. Instead, Fox and their affiliates led by saying that this bill would save children from life-altering surgery and untested medication.

The Arkansas Republicans who sponsored this bill are well aware that denying transgender children lifesaving medical treatment will result in increased suffering and ultimately increased suicidal ideation.

Neither gender-confirming surgery nor hormones are an option until the patient is at least eighteen years of age. The parents of transgender children diagnosed with gender dysphoria are given the option of delaying their child’s puberty with hormone blockers or to continue if so desired with therapy.

The hormone blockers being prescribed are the same medication that adolescents diagnosed with “precocious puberty” have been given since the seventies. “Precocious puberty” is a medical condition that afflicts cisgender minors when puberty arrives too strong and at too young an age.
These medications have been proven safe and effective, something that the sponsors of anti-transgender healthcare bills ignore.

The Pediatricians at the rally also warned of a dangerous precedent if the government should come between doctor and patients. This is especially dangerous when procedures such as the standard of care for treating gender dysphoria are denied through legislative actions.

Arkansas Pediatrics president Dr. Gary Wheeler announced during the rally that six medical associations representing over 60,000 healthcare professionals signed a letter stating that they oppose HB 1570 and all legislation targeting transgender people healthcare.

The Arkansas Republicans who sponsored this legislation are using this boilerplate legislation knowing that denying children lifesaving treatment. which will result in increased suffering and ultimately increased suicidal ideation. What’s more, it’s an attack on the pediatricians who care for their patients threatening them with fines and medical disbarment.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender