LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — (Editor's Note: The attached video is a report from May 2021.)
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to prevent Arkansas from enforcing its ban on gender confirming treatments for transgender youth while a lawsuit challenging the prohibition proceeds.
The ACLU on Tuesday requested a preliminary injunction against the new law, which is set to take effect on July 28.
The new law prohibits doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit last month challenging the measure.
The lawsuit is on behalf of four transgender youth and their families, as well as two doctors who provide gender-confirming treatments. The lawsuit argues the prohibition will severely harm transgender youth in the state and violate their constitutional rights.
“If the health care ban goes into effect, it will have devastating consequences for transgender youth in Arkansas," the lawsuit said.
“These young people will be unable to obtain medical care that their doctors and parents agree they need - and those already receiving care will have their treatment abruptly halted - which could have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences."
Republican lawmakers enacted the ban in April, overriding a veto by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
The governor vetoed the ban following pleas from pediatricians, social workers, and the parents of transgender youth who said the measure would harm a community already at risk for depression and suicide.