We are deeply disappointed by the Arkansas legislature's decision to pass a bill that would greatly expand medical malpractice claims only against doctors who provide life-saving and life-changing care to transgender minors. This decision is particularly troubling because it ignores the repeated pleas of trans young people and their families, who have been speaking out in Arkansas for over two years about the positive impact that gender-affirming care has had on their lives.
By choosing to ignore the voices of those who are most directly impacted by this legislation, Arkansas politicians are sending a clear message that they value political posturing over the health and wellbeing of their constituents. We urge Gov. Sanders to listen to the concerns of trans young people and their families and veto this harmful bill. No one should be denied access to medically necessary care because of their gender identity, and Arkansas must not take another step away from ensuring that all Arkansans have access to the care they need and deserve.
The ACLU of Arkansas remains steadfast in our commitment to fighting against discriminatory legislation that harms marginalized communities, including transgender Arkansans. We believe that all individuals should have the freedom to live their lives authentically and without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence.
We recognize the ongoing attacks on the rights of trans people, particularly young people, in Arkansas, and we will continue to use our resources and legal expertise to challenge harmful laws and policies. All Arkansans deserve to live with equality, dignity and respect – and to be protected from politicians and laws that amount to bullying, retaliation, and oppression.