LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Testimony continues in a trial against Arkansas’ bill to ban care for transgender youth under the age of 18.
Day 3 of the trial began with testimony from Dr. Michelle Hutchison.
Hutchison was previously the medical director of Arkansas Children’s Gender Clinic.
In her testimony, Hutchison explained that she saw 3 of the plaintiffs in the case for treatment for Gender Dysphoria.
In her explanation, she went through points in which she would administer treatment.
Most began with mental health and psychological assessment of the patient. Discussing daily habits, mental state and how long they had identified in a specific gender.
Hutchison said in most cases she would see patients for 10 months or more before recommending any sort of medical treatment.
“If any member of the team felt that it wasn’t right, that would delay treatment,” Hutchison stated.
In the past few months, Hutchison says the clinic has stopped medically treating new patients in anticipation the states bill banning care would become law.
Hutchison said she has fears about this becoming a reality.
“Forcing a kid to wait until they’re 18, I just worry these kids are going to hurt themselves,” Hutchison said.
Dr. Kathryn Stambough who is the current director, taking over Hutchison, echoed those same concerns in relation to suicide rates.
“Not every patient could make it to 18,” Stambough stated.
Also Wednesday, two sets of parents with transgender children were called to give testimony.
First to the stand was Amanda Dennis.
Dennis has a 10-year-old daughter, Brooke, who is transgender.
Dennis says before Brooke came out as transgender, life was relatively dark for the young child.
“A lot of moments in her young life when you’re supposed to be happy, she didn’t have that,” Dennis said.
Dennis says Brooke came out as transgender in the second grade. Shortly after she started seeing a therapist for Gender Dysphoria.
“She got her smile back. A lot of that sadness went away,” Dennis said.
Joanna Brandt, a parent of a transgender child, said it was a world of difference when her son Dylan, started hormone therapy.
“He had been holding his breath for years and he was finally able to exhale and relax,” Brandt said.
Both parents said they feel anxious about the possibility of Arkansas’ ban becoming reality.
Brandt says she feels like the state is forcing her out.
“We’re not ready to leave,” Brandt proclaimed.
The plaintiff, in this case, is expected to rest Friday in which case the State will present its testimony.