|At least 16 other states are considering similar legislation. (Photo by= Getty Images)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] Arkansas now became the first US state to outlaw gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender people under the age of 18. BBC reported that the bill also in effect bans doctors from providing puberty blockers, or from referring them to other providers for the treatment.
The Republican state governor had vetoed the bill, calling it a "vast government overreach". But the state's Republican-controlled House and Senate overruled him. The bill has faced much opposition from groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, which said the law would block trans youth from important medical care and increase their already high risk of suicide.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) commented that it’s preparing litigation, saying that the bill "will drive families, doctors, and businesses out of the state and send a terrible and heart-breaking message to the transgender young people who are watching in fear". "This is a sad day for Arkansas, but this fight is not over - and we're in it for the long haul," Holly Dickson, executive director of ACLU in Arkansas, said in a statement. Dr Jack Turban, a fellow in child and adolescent psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine, told the BBC that access to gender-affirming care for trans youth is "consistently linked to better mental health outcomes".