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19 state attorneys general support Arkansas law prohibiting transgender treatments for children

Nineteen state attorneys general have signed on to an amicus brief defending an Arkansas law protecting children from transgender treatments.

The brief was filed Nov. 19 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

In April, the State of Arkansas enacted the “Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act” to prohibit gender transition procedures for minors, including the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgery.

In July, a coalition of 17 states led by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sought to defend the Arkansas law, which, after being enjoined by a federal district court order, has been appealed to the Eighth Circuit.

Alarmed by numbers

“Alabama and our coalition of states are alarmed by the growing number of children suffering from gender dysphoria and other forms of gender-related psychological distress,” Marshall said in a statement. “We all agree that these vulnerable children need help. The question is how to address their needs without causing serious long-term damage.

Marshall said that rather than “resort to risk and potentially devastating experimentation on vulnerable children,” the Arkansas Legislature chose a path “that has served the medical profession well for so long: First, do no harm.”

Marshall questioned the validity of advice from the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggested “the ‘consensus’ of the medical community requires ‘treating’ children with puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgical interventions.

“These groups have drifted far from their roots as respected medical organizations,” Marshall said. “If anyone spent just a little bit of time with the scientific literature in this area, they would quickly learn that science is largely unsettled; nearly everyone agrees that far more research is needed; and the currently popular approach to care in the United States is not supported by well-researched evidence-based studies.”

Click here to download the brief.

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