Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Vetoes Bill to Ban Transgender Surgery for Minors

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday he would veto a bill to ban transgender surgery for minors, even with parental consent – the state is the first to take such action.

In a Monday news conference, Hutchinson described the bill as “a vast government overreach,” and said that the state shouldn’t jump into every “medical, human, and ethical issue,” The Daily Caller reported.


“I was told this week that the nation is looking at Arkansas because I have on my desk another bill passed by the General Assembly that is a product of the cultural war in America,” Hutchinson began. “I don’t shy away from a battle when it is necessary and defensible, but the most recent action of the General Assembly, while well intended, is off course, and I must veto HB 1570.”

“HB 1570 would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients, and healthcare experts. While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human, and ethical issue. This would be, and is, a vast government overreach,” he said.

HB 1570, also known as the Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act, prohibits physicians from providing gender-transition hormone treatment or surgery to minors, including prescribing medications. Hutchinson recently signed  into a law a bill banning males who identify as females from competing in girl’s sports. Two other states, Tennessee and Mississippi, passed similar laws.

However, the House voted 72-25 and the Senate voted 25-8 Tuesday to override Hutchinson’s veto. The bill will take effect later this summer, USA Today reported.

Hutchinson predicted during his announcement that the state legislature would override his veto.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

Photo: (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

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