Arkansas Legislature Overrides Veto To Ban Genital Mutilation Of Children

Arkansas Legislature Overrides Veto To Ban Genital Mutilation Of Children

The majority-Republican Arkansas General Assembly voted Tuesday to override Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto of a bill banning experimental genital mutilation and hormone treatments for those under 18-years-old.

The passage of HB 1570, the Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act, makes Arkansas the first state in the union to prohibit doctors from administering hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or other treatments to minors. The veto passed in the House at a vote of 71 to 24 and in the Senate 25 to 8.

Hutchinson vetoed the legislation on Monday, which originally passed on March 29. The governor claimed the measure was a “product of the cultural war in America” and violated the relationship between a doctor and patient.

“This is a government overreach,” Hutchinson said in a press conference Monday. “You are starting to let lawmakers interfere with health care and set a standard for legislation overriding health care. The state should not presume to jump into every ethical health decision.”

“We want to send a message of tolerance and diversity,” the governor added.

Even though Hutchinson cratered on this legislation, he recently signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” to ban biological men from participating in female sports. Republicans in the state were not pleased with his decision to oppose another piece of legislation to protect minors and oppose psuedo-science that has run rampant in the transgender movement.

Upon the announcement of the overriding of Hutchinson’s veto, Family Council, a conservative education and research group based in Little Rock, issued a statement applauding the Arkansas legislature.

“Medical researchers do not know the long term effects these procedures and therapies can have on kids. That is why many people equate them with experimenting on children,” Family Council wrote. “The legislature made the right decision to override the governor’s veto on Tuesday. This is good news, and Arkansans ought to be proud of their lawmakers for standing up and protecting the welfare of children.”

The overriding of Hutchinson’s veto came after other prominent conservative figures voiced opposition as well. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said the “legislature cannot stop now and deprive Arkansas’s children of this much-needed protection.”

“These unscientific, destructive gender transition procedures should not be allowed to interrupt the development of children and irreversibly alter their bodies,” Perkins said.

Ryan T. Anderson, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and author of “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment,” said intervening in the normal physical development of a child for the sake of “gender identity” is unethical.

“Prudent legislation is needed to prevent adults from interfering with a child’s normal, natural bodily development. Thankfully, the Arkansas legislature has refused to cave to Big Business special interests. More states should follow their example,” Anderson told The Federalist.

Hutchinson won re-election in 2018 after first being elected in 2014. Both Leslie Rutledge, the Arkansas Attorney General, and former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have declared they will run in 2022.

HB 1570 will become state law in 90 days after the legislative session concludes on April 30.

Gabe Kaminsky is an intern at The Federalist. His writing has been featured in the Daily Wire, The American Conservative, the New York Post, and other outlets. He has also appeared on Fox News, Newsmax, Hill.TV, OANN, and various radio programs. Follow him on Twitter @Gabe__Kaminsky or email [email protected]
Photo AP/Flickr
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