Patients Would Be Able To Sue Doctors Who Perform Sex Change Surgeries On Minors Under Republican Arkansas Proposal

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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A bill which makes it easier for individuals to sue doctors who performed sex change operations on them as a minor is under consideration in the Arkansas state legislature.

The legislation comes after a bill was introduced in the Arkansas State Senate in March 2021 which banned sex change procedures for minors. The Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act was vetoed by Republican Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson in April 2021. The Arkansas legislature overrode Hutchinson’s veto, becoming the first state to ban sex change procedures for minors. A federal appeals court blocked enforcement of the law in August of 2022.

The bill, introduced by Republican Sen. Gary Stubblefield, would stipulate that, “A healthcare professional who performs a gender transition procedure on a minor is liable to the minor if the minor is injured.”

The bill includes physical, psychological, emotional, or physiological damage in its definition of injury. A minor who received such treatment from a doctor may be eligible for compensatory and punitive damages, according to the proposal. (RELATED: Pivotal Parental Rights Bill To Face An Uphill Battle In The Virginia Senate)

Public testimony on the bill grew heated Monday, as Arkansas Sen. Matt McKee asked a transgender individual, “do you have a penis?”

The bill is one of many similar bills introduced by Republican lawmakers across the country as detransitioners speak out against the sex change surgeries performed on them as minors. Researchers have criticized the medical establishment for downplaying the risks associated with sex change procedures, including puberty blockers and hormone treatments, on minors.

Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Jim Banks introduced a bill in the House called the Protecting Minors from Medical Malpractice Act which would allow minors and their parents or guardians to more easily sue doctors who performed sex changes for damages up to 30 years after the operations.