On Tuesday, April 6, Arkansas became the first U.S. state to prohibit doctors from providing gender transition procedures for children.
The legislation, known as the Arkansas Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act, prohibits any physician or other healthcare professional from providing gender transition procedures to any person under the age of 18. Additionally, it prohibits any public funds from being given directly or indirectly to any doctor, hospital or other entity that provides gender transition services for minors.
In March, the bill passed the state House by a vote of 70-22, and was approved in the state Senate by a vote of 28-7. After Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the legislation, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature voted to override the veto.
The law prevents healthcare providers from giving puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones to minors. Gender reassignment surgeries are also prohibited, even though they are generally not recommended for children.
~With reporting from SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.