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Gov. Hutchinson continues defending decision to veto bill banning transgender services for minors

The Arkansas legislature overrode the GOP governor's veto of the bill.

Updated: April 11, 2021 - 6:04pm

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday continued defending his decision to veto legislation that will ban gender transition surgeries and services like cross-sex hormones and puberty blockers for minors.

"It's a conservative position to say, that's not the role of government. It is compassionate to say, we care for all our young people whether they're trans youth or otherwise, we care for them. And that's the message of compassion and conservatism that we need to have as a party," the governor said Sunday during an interview on CNN's State of the Union.

The Arkansas legislature overrode the GOP governor's veto, but Hutchinson has contended that his move was politically conservative.

"In Arkansas, gender reassignment surgery is not performed on anyone under age 18. If House Bill 1570 simply prohibited gender reassignment surgeries, then I would sign the bill," Hutchinson said on Monday. "But the bill is overbroad, extreme, and does not grandfather those young people who are currently under hormone treatment. In other words, the young people who are currently under a doctor's care will be without treatment when this law goes into effect. That means they'll be looking to the black market or go out of state if they can afford it to find the treatment that they want and need. This is not the right path to put them on," the governor said.

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