This week, lawmakers in Arkansas passed a radical bill banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. Arkansas Bill, HB1570, currently awaiting the governor’s signature to become law in the state. However, advocacy groups and experts agree that this type of care can be beneficial and even life-saving for many children.
The bill, which protects adolescents from experimentation in Arkansas, would ban medical procedures that verify the sex of people under the age of 18. This includes the use of puberty-blocking drugs and hormones, and gender-confirming surgery. It also prohibits medical professionals from referring people under the age of 18 to other professionals to perform these procedures.
Contrary to what the legislators who support this type of policy would have you believe, providing this type of care is medically best practice and life-saving for gender-diverse children. Transgender youth and adults have particularly high rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, and suicide. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)However, providing understanding, non-judgmental and gender-affirming care can improve the mental health of young people. exclusive but Growing body of evidence, AAP says.
of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Endocrinological Society, Pediatric Endocrinology Societyand the World Association of Transgender Health Professionals Both have guidelines and recommendations for health care for transgender people, which for some may include medication and surgery.Offer options, such as drugs that delay puberty Mayo Clinic says), which may be one aspect of that care and may reduce the distress associated with these physical changes. However, not all transgender people pursue medical or surgical gender confirmation procedures.
Ultimately, access to a safe, welcoming, and supportive space to discuss these options with knowledgeable health care professionals is part of everyday health care for all transgender people, including children. should be the department.
“AAP is committed to ensuring that young people who identify as transgender have access to inclusive, gender-affirming, and developmentally appropriate health care provided in a safe and inclusive clinical space. Recommended statement“These bills not only ignore these recommendations, they undermine them.”
“This bill is devastating. It cuts trans people out of healthcare: we need to survive, supported by all major medical associations, and enabled us to live as our true authentic selves.” to on Twitter“Stopping this bill is necessary to save and protect the lives of trans people. People have a right to gender-affirming health care.”
Just last week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill banning transgender women and girls from competing on gender-matched sports teams. reported by NBC NewsThe bill is just one of more than 70 anti-transgender bills introduced so far this year.