Arkansas’ transgender treatment ban will not go into effect next week, according to a judge.
On Wednesday, a federal court temporarily banned legislation in Arkansas that would restrict transgender minors from receiving gender-confirming therapies while the case challenging the prohibition proceeds.
The case, which was filed in May by the American Civil Liberties Union, asks the U.S. Arkansas became the first state to prohibit doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or sex reassignment surgery to patients under the age of 18. District Judge Jay Moody of Little Rock overturned the law, which made Arkansas the first state to prohibit doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or sex reassignment surgery to patients under the age of 18.
Doctors are also prohibited from referring patients under the age of 18 for treatment under the regulation. While its complaint was pending, the ACLU sought a preliminary injunction. The law was supposed to go into force on July 28.
“Removing this care from these patients, especially kids, in the middle of their treatment would be irreversible,” Moody added.
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The ACLU filed the complaint on behalf of four transgender adolescents and their families, as well as two gender-confirming treatment providers. According to the lawsuit, the ban would hurt transgender youth in the state and violate their fundamental rights.
“This decision sends a clear message to states throughout the country that gender-affirming care is life-saving care, and we will not let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — to take it away,” said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas.
Arkansas’ Republican-controlled legislature overrode Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto. Following protests from pediatricians, social workers, and parents of transgender youths, Hutchinson vetoed the prohibition, claiming it would hurt a community already at danger of despair and suicide.