Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday he would veto a bill that would have banned transgender surgery for minors.
Hutchinson made the announcement to reporters, describing the bill as a “vast government overreach,” and said that the state shouldn’t jump into every “medical, human, and ethical issue.” (RELATED: Lawmakers Reject Noem’s Changes, Bill Banning Biological Males From Women’s Sports Fails)
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) announces he has vetoed HB 1570, the bill that would restrict care for trans youth. pic.twitter.com/pcMY87stVu
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“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, would have prohibited physicians from performing gender transition procedures on minors. Hutchinson previously signed into a law a bill banning males who identify as female from participating in female sports. This action followed similar bills passed in other states addressing the issue of transgender participation in girl’s sports. Hutchinson predicted during his announcement that the state legislature will override his veto.