Arkansas has become the first state to ban puberty-blocking drugs and "gender reassignment" surgeries for children under the age of 18 after Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the measure. The House voted 71-24 and Senate voted 25-8 on Tuesday to override the governor's veto.
HB 1570, known as the Save Adolescents from Experimentation Act Act, prohibits physicians and health care professionals from providing gender transition procedures to minors or referring the minors to other health care professionals for those harmful actions. The bill also prevents taxpayer funds or medical insurance mandates to pay for these procedures and provides legal remedies for minors who have been permanently disfigured and/or sterilized by them.
The law goes into effect 90 days after the Arkansas General Assembly goes into recess on April 30.
Medical providers who violate the law could face disciplinary actions from the appropriate licensing entity or disciplinary review board.
The SAFE Act includes the facts that "scientific studies show that individuals struggling with distress at identifying with their biological sex often have already experienced psychopathology, which indicates these individuals should be encouraged to seek mental health services to address comorbidities and underlying causes of their distress before undertaking any hormonal or surgical intervention ... Healthcare providers are also prescribing cross-sex hormones for children who experience distress at identifying with their biological sex, despite the fact that no randomized clinical trials have been conducted on the efficacy or safety of the use of cross-sex hormones in adults or children for the purpose of treating such distress or gender transition."
Drugs that are being used as a puberty blocker in gender-confused youth have been linked to tens of thousands of serious reactions and thousands of deaths, as well as other serious medical issues, according to Food and Drug Administration data.
Leuprolide acetate, known as Lupron, is clinically approved for treatment of prostate cancer in men, endometriosis in women and, for a short period of time, "precocious puberty"—a condition in which children begin puberty at a significantly younger age than is considered normal. However, it is being prescribed off-label for use in children who have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, despite the lack of formal FDA approval for that purpose and the absence of any peer-reviewed studies done on the drug's long-term effects.
Lupron and synthetic hormones have been documented to contribute to physical problems such as blood clots, cardiovascular complications, brittle bones and faulty joints, urinary disorders, mood swings, altered psyches, depression, suicidal ideation and attempts and permanent sterilization. Yet many of the long-term repercussions will not be felt for years.
In fact, between 2009 and 2021, the FDA has now documented 50,574 adverse events, including 7,926 deaths and 30,178 "serious" reactions in patients who took the hormone blocker known as Lupron.
Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, a scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a professor at Arizona State University said, "Nearly all children ultimately identify with their biological sex. The notion that a two-year-old, having expressed thoughts or behaviors identified with the opposite sex, can be labeled for life as transgender has absolutely no support in science. Indeed, it is iniquitous to believe that all children who have gender-atypical thoughts or behavior at some point in their development, particularly before puberty, should be encouraged to become transgender."
Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver said, "Children can be irreversibly harmed by puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones, and surgery to remove healthy body parts. These life-altering procedures that cause permanent damage do not solve the root issues but create more problems."
For the original article, please visit lc.org.
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