LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday vetoed HB1570, a bill that would have barred doctors in Arkansas from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment or surgery to anyone under the age of 18.
Hutchinson called the bill, which passed the Senate, 28-7, last week, a product of the current “cultural war” in America.
“If House Bill 1570 becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people,” Hutchinson said.
The governor said the bill “would be and is a vast government overreach” and cited opposition to the legislation from leading Arkansas medical associations.
“The concern expressed is that denying best medical care to transgender youth can lead to significant harm to the young person from suicidal tendencies and social isolation to increased drug use,” Hutchinson said.
The governor said if the bill simply included a ban on gender reassignment surgery, he would sign the legislation.
Republicans in the Arkansas State Legislature can override Hutchinson’s veto with a simple majority.