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Arkansas Governor Vetoes Ban on Gender Transition Surgery for Minors

National Review logo National Review 4/5/2021 Zachary Evans
Asa Hutchinson wearing a suit and tie: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks during a news conference held by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Washington, D.C., December 21, 2012. © Joshua Roberts/Reuters Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson speaks during a news conference held by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in Washington, D.C., December 21, 2012.

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, vetoed a bill that would ban doctors from performing gender transition surgery or offering puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors.

The bill “would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients, and health care experts,” Hutchinson told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human, and ethical issue. This would be, and is, a vast government overreach.”

Hutchinson  added, “Government under a conservative philosophy should be restrained…This is an example of where restraint is better than over-broad actions that interfere with important relationships in our society.”

Hutchinson acknowledged that the Arkansas General Assembly, the state’s legislature, could override his veto by a simple majority vote.


Video: Ark. gov. vetoes transgender youth treatment ban (Associated Press)

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