LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday vetoed legislation that would have made his state the first to ban gender confirming treatments or surgery for transgender youth, though lawmakers could enact the restriction over his objections.
The Republican governor rejected legislation that would have prohibited doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
“If (the bill) becomes law, then we are creating new standards of legislative interference with physicians and parents as they deal with some of the most complex and sensitive matters involving young people,” Hutchinson said at a news conference.
The Republican Legislature could still enact the measure, since it only takes a simple majority of the House and Senate to override a governor’s veto in Arkansas. Hutchinson said he believed an override was likely.