LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The state of Arkansas started its testimony Friday morning in the trial against its law banning gender-affirming health care for minors.
The plaintiff, the American Civil Liberties Union, first had to officially rest its case before the defense started testimony. One attorney for the plaintiff said the defense wanted to impose “viewpoint-based restrictions.”
“The harms of this law have shown to be severe,” the attorney said in a statement.
Once the defense began their testimony, the one witness the public was able to hear from was Dr. Janet Cathey, a physician at Planned Parenthood Great Plains in northwest Arkansas.
The public was not able to hear the two other witnesses’ testimonies because they were a medical provider and therapist for the plaintiff’s witnesses.
Cathey’s testimony focused on what she prescribes to patients she has diagnosed with gender dysphoria and the consent process they go through to get treatment.
Cathey said she does not prescribe any puberty blockers, and while some patients for Planned Parenthood are under 16, she will not see any patients under 16 herself.
In her testimony, Cathey also told the courtroom she does not require mental health therapy for prescriptions and that patients do sign consent forms before learning about the risks, but she does go over those risks with patients after they sign the form, so no one leaves without learning the risks.
The state’s attorneys also focused on some of the risks associated with gender affirming hormones for males and females.
One attorney pointed back to testosterone use guidelines for Planned Parenthood, which state, “some of the changes may not go away even if you stop taking testosterone.”
Court adjourned Friday afternoon and will not pick back up until November 28, when the rest of the witnesses for the defense are able to testify.