Arkansas governor vetos bill blocking youth gender-affirming surgery while slamming US ‘culture war’ on trans rights

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has vetoed a bill that would block doctors from providing gender-affirming care to transgender minors, calling it a “product of the cultural war in America”.

The Republican said when announcing his veto that while the bill was “well-intentioned”, it was “off course”.

The bill would have prohibited doctors from providing minors with gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery if they were under the age of 18 years old. Medical professionals would also be unable to refer the minors to other providers for treatment.

“House Bill 1570 would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients and health care experts,” Mr Hutchinson said during a press briefing. “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 added.

The governor went on to state that the bill was a “product of the cultural war in America” that has launched across states in the US to pass anti-trans legislation.

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