Lawmakers in the state of Arkansas have passed HB1570, better known as the “Save Adolescents From Experimentation” Act. This piece of legislation will legally prevent doctors from providing gender-affirming health care to trans youth. Medical professionals will also be prevented from referring trans youth to other providers for treatment.
LBGTQ advocacy groups from Arkansas and around the country have publicly criticized the SAFE Act. Adding on, the Endocrine Society, Child Mind Institute and American Psychological Association also recommend states offer gender-affirming care for young trans people.
“There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need,” Holly Dickson of the ACLU stated.
There is still an opportunity for state legislators to stop this bill. It has passed through the Arkansas Senate and Arkansas House of Representatives. However, it does not go into effect until Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signs it. He has until the end of the week to sign it. At this moment, he has not expressed public approval or disapproval of the bill. If he does decide to sign it, Arkansas would be the first state to enact such a law.