Arkansas Republicans Have Declared War on Trans Kids with Despicable Anti-Trans Bill

This article contains mentions of suicide rates in trans youth. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and would like someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

On Monday, the Arkansas Senate passed a horrifying bill that would ban trans minors from having access to gender-affirming healthcare, such as reversible puberty blockers and hormones. Of the many anti-trans pieces of legislation that have been introduced around the country, Arkansas’ bill is considered by many to be one of the most violent and extreme.

If Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signs the bill—and it seems likely that he will—the state will be the first in the country to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth. The bill would effectively rip away care for trans folks up until they’re 19 years old and would include felony penalties; it would also block public funds, such as Medicaid, from being used for transition-related care.

Young trans people who are receiving care right now will lose access, which medical professionals have warned will have a profoundly traumatic affect on patients. The bill would also demand that school workers “out” transgender students.

Despite testimonies from trans advocates and healthcare professionals during the state’s Senate hearing, the bill still advanced. Michele Hutchison, a pediatric doctor, said that there were a number of kids in the emergency room for attempted suicide after the bill passed in the state’s House.

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