FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A recent piece of legislation is making an impact in northwest Arkansas.
HB1570 will prevent anyone under the age of 18 from getting gender-affirming treatments and surgeries. Now, people, like Jasmine and Mo Banks-who started ‘Reconcile Arkansas‘ in direct response to the bill.
The bill is set to become law 90 days after the legislative adjourns on April 30th.
“At the point we realized the state was going to be unrelenting and attacking queer and trans families, we knew we needed to use our external resources and community for collective care,” Jasmine said.
The group provides resources and mutual aid to families with trans children. On Saturday, they provided free lunch and care packages to the community at Walker Park in Fayetteville.
“I identify as trans nonbinary and one of our children is trans,” Mo said. “We are one of the folks who will be having to figure out how do we get medical care.”
Mo and Jasmine said the group began just a few weeks ago in wake of recent legislation.
“Reconcile Arkansas is a response to the horrible and violent bill the HB1570.”
“Why would we not stand up for children?”
-STATE REP. ROBIN LUNDSTRUM, (R) – 87
Lundstrum said a variety of health issues can come from the combination of ross-sex hormones and puberty blocking drugs in children.
“During adolescence- that’s when that’s the final process takes place in adolescence for us to grow up and kids need to be healthy.”
She also said she believes a life-altering decision should not be made before the age of 18.
“When they get to 18 and they wanna make the decision, that is their decision and they’ll be healthier and be able to make a good decision to themselves,” Lundstrum said.
She also noted this bill does not take away health care or any type of counseling for trans children.
While Jasmine said it would take away other things.
“It takes away the ability for trans young people to have the kind of self determination and dignity that they deserve,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine also noted that this bill is out of character for the northwest Arkansas community.
“In the south, we care about each other, we care about family values and the general assembly right now is not reflective of Fayetteville- of our broader state.”
-JASMINE BANKS, CO-FOUNDER, RECONCILE ARKANSAS
To find out more about Reconcile Arkansas, resources and upcoming events, click here.