Little Rock, Arkansas — On Monday, March 29th, the Arkansas legislator passed HB 1570, a bill banning medical coverage for transgender youth, trough both chambers. The bill arrives now at Governor Hutchinson’s desk, who last Thursday signed another anti-trans bill into law banning transgender youth from participating in athletic competitions. Both of these bills are considered by the ACLU to be “the most extreme and harmful anti-trans bill in the country“. LGBTQIA+ communities are experiences widespread attacks on rights by state legislators in nearly 20 states.

HB 1570, the Arkansas law banning transgender healthcare, goes so far to revoke licenses for even referring medical care. Leading medical organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics, claim that the bill will put adverse outcomes on transgender communities who won’t have access to medical care. The two bills come out among a trend that transgender activists have been raising the alarms about all year. States legislators are pursuing an unprecedented attack on LGBTQIA+ rights in bills that range from banning transgender youth from sporting events to outright denying them proper medical care, both of these were signed into Arkansas law. The bills are opposed by athletic organizations, child welfare advocates, medical practitioners and institutions, and many others.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said of the bills, “Hutchinson is ignoring the ugly history of states that have dared to pass anti-transgender legislation in years past, and by doing so he is exposing Arkansas to economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation.” LGBTQIA+ activists express concern and frustration with Republican-controlled states attacking LGBTQIA+ rights while Democrats hold a narrow majority of the Senate.