Arkansas lawmakers pass bill banning doctors from providing medically-necessary treatment to transgender minors

Republicans in the Arkansas House and Senate have just passed a bill that would ban physicians and other medical professionals from providing medically-necessary treatment and services to transgender minors. If Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson, who has already signed several anti-LGBTQ bills into law this month, signs HB 1570, experts warn transgender youths' lives will be at risk.

Calling it "one of the most extreme and harmful anti-trans bills in the country," the ACLU warned in a brief before the bill was passed that if signed, "it will be the most extreme piece of anti-trans legislation ever signed into law."

Lawmakers misnamed the legislation the "Save Adolescents From Experimentation (SAFE) Act." Monday's Senate vote was 28-7. The House bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Robin Lundstrum, the Senate bill was sponsored by Republican Senator Alan Clark (photo).

"House Bill 1570 would prohibit healthcare professionals from providing or even referring transgender young people for medically necessary health care," the ACLU explains. "It would bar any state funds for gender-affirming health care for transgender people under 18, and it would allow private insurers to refuse to cover gender-affirming care for people of any age."

But that's not all.

"Doctors who provide medically necessary care to trans youth would risk losing their licenses and be subject to lawsuits by individuals and the state," the ACLU states.

ACLU attorney Chase Strangio: