By Tyler Clifton, Staff Writer
After Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) vetoed a bill which would prevent doctors from providing gender-affirming care to trans youth on April 6, the state legislature overrode the governor’s veto.
Inside the legislature, the House vote was 71-24 and in the Senate 25-8, passing the Save Adolescence from Experimentation (SAFE) Act into law.
Hutchinson vetoed the bill out of concern for government overreach, adding that the bill expanded the state’s role in medical care. The governor also described it as creating a “new standard of legislative interference.”
The veto was not well-received by members of his own party, including former President Donald Trump.
“Bye-Bye Asa, that’s the end of him! Fortunately for the Great State of Arkansas, Sarah Huckabee Sanders will do a fantastic job as your next governor!” Trump said.
Hutchinson dismissed Trump’s comments, calling the discussion about the bill vital to determining the future direction of the Republican Party. The highly controversial bill bans doctors in the state from prescribing puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming surgeries to trans youth. Medical professionals who fail to comply with the law could be charged with a felony.
The bill will still face opposition even after being signed into law. Holly Dickinson, the executive direction of the ACLU in Arkansas, vowed to challenge the law in court to prevent it coming into effect.
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