According to a Williams Institute report1, as of February 2020 there were 8 states either introducing or considering legislation that would limit access to gender affirming health care to American transgender youths, some going as far as to referring parents to child welfare services if they are found to have been supporting such care for their child. The number of states considering these harmful laws increased, and the first of such laws reached the Governor’s desk in the state of Arkansas.
After a moment of hope during which Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill calling it a “vast overreach of politicians” and a direct response to a culture war, both chambers of the Arkansas legislature voted overwhelmingly to override this veto and force the Saving Adolescents From Experimentation Act (SAFE Act)2 into state law. This act now makes it illegal for physicians to provide gender affirming care or to refer patients to other providers for gender affirming care for any individual less than 18 years of age. It also bans the use of any public funds for such care and does not allow any medical care that can be determined to be gender affirming care to be reimbursed through state programs..