June 15, 2022

Lucca Wang, ACLU of Arkansas, 415-763-7534, [email protected]
Gillian Branstetter, ACLU National, 347-514-3984, [email protected]

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Today in the Federal Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, the American Civil Liberties Union defended the trial court’s order granting a preliminary injunction which prevented House Bill 1570 (H.B. 1570) law from going into effect. The effect of the injunction has been to ensure that gender affirming health care has remained accessible for transgender adolescents in Arkansas. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four transgender youth and their families as well as two doctors. The preliminary injunction (a temporary block on the ban of gender-affirming health care) granted by the judge is still in place, so the law banning gender-affirming health care has never gone into effect.

On January 18, 2022, 11 amicus or friend-of-the-court briefs were filed in the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of Arkansas trans youth. In addition to doctors in Arkansas opposing H.B. 1570, major medical organizations opposed this law and similar bills proposed throughout the country.

The case is also proceeding to a final trial the week of October 17, 2022.

“We are continuing the fight to keep gender-affirming health care legal in Arkansas, and we will not ever stop fighting for trans youth - this Pride Month or any day, week, month, or year. Gender-affirming health care is life saving care that remains and absolutely should remain legal,” said Holly Dickson, ACLU of Arkansas executive director. “We won’t let politicians in Arkansas — or anywhere else — take away this critical care.”  

“Today's hearing emphasized the urgent need to dispel with this discriminatory and dangerous law,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice with the ACLU's LGBTQ & HIV Project. “Trans youth in Arkansas and across the nation are undergoing a coordinated strike on their health care and their rights and we're determined to fight back so that every trans young person can have the future they deserve.”

More on this case can be found here.